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Janet Buckingham

Janet's story...
Janet Who
& What?

Sketch of an Artist  Janet's journey into creativity has taken her on a long and adventurous path populated with a variety of media. She has been writing poetry, nonfiction essays and stories as long as she can remember.  She also learned, perhaps a bit against her will, to sew when she was a young girl.  It has only been since the turn of the century that she found the courage to pick up a paint brush and begin experimenting with visual art.  Perhaps it was the inspiring landscape of Moab and the red rock canyons of southeastern Utah that gave her the nudge. It is the place that makes her heart sing (but only her heart; she claims her musical talent is completely missing!).  Janet's experiment began with acrylics and quickly transitioned to pastels. She loved the messiness of the soft pastel sticks, enjoying the colors that exploded on her fingers and on the canvas.  Her subject was always the rich oranges, purples, pinks and rusty browns of the high desert.  Janet began playing with watercolor and ink while living on Kodiak Island, Alaska; watercolor seemed a more natural way to catch the motion and fluidity of the ocean and rivers.  Once she returned to Moab, she continued with watercolor and introduced pen and ink, which is her current favorite media. 

Getting from there to here  How does a person end up in one of the most beautiful places on earth?  Janet was born in the flatlands of Kansas, eventually migrating with her family to Kansas City (both Missouri and Kansas claim this city!)  Her early years were spent raising children, working, and following a fairly straight line.  Life circumstances changed making her path a little more crooked and interesting.  Seeing an opportunity for personal growth and a return to childhood goals, Janet started college when she had three children and was 30 years old.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and continued on pursuing her Masters of English in Creative Writing while working as many jobs as it took to pay tuition and keep her eyes on the goal. During spring break and summer vacation from teaching and studying, Janet started throwing her young son and camping gear in the Honda station wagon and circumnavigating the Southwest.  There she discovered national parks and the rich smells and colors of the desert. Hiking her way through the West, she grew strong and tan and promised one day to leave the city and move to Moab, Utah.  In 1991, that dream came true when she landed a job at the natural history association affiliated with Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Janet and her son became desert rats!

Fast forward   And her crooked little path gave her plenty of uphill struggles, boulder-strewn trails, flash floods of emotion and pesky little bugs, but she persisted.  Janet never in her life believed she would ever leave Moab, even temporarily.  But, once again, life brought opportunity, and she and a new husband moved to Kodiak Island, Alaska, in 2007.  Together they explored the Kodiak Archipelago and as much of Alaska as they could.  Bears, eagles and salmon, oh my!   Alaska was the adventure of a lifetime, but Moab called her and her husband back after six years.  Janet, her husband and their faithful, crooning Tibetan terrier, Bing Crosby continue the desert rat tradition. 

And finally     For as long as she can remember, Janet has said, "I just want to write, quilt, garden and paint."  Working full time makes such an idyllic life impossible, but retiring from an 8 to 5 job in 2013, made all of those dreams possible. Janet's art now encompasses at least two of those four passions. Life is good!

Watercolor/Pen & Ink



2010 - present
2010 - present

Awards and Other Exciting Stuff

Janet shows her work at Gallery Moab on Main Street in downtown Moab, Utah. Gallery Moab is a coop gallery representing approximately 30 artists from Moab and surrounding areas. Learn more about Gallery Moab by visiting  Prints and cards are also available at Moab Made, also on Main Street Moab. 

Janet was named 2018 National Park Service Artist in the Parks for the Southeastern Utah Group including Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Hovenweep National Monument and Natural Bridges National Monument. She spent a year traveling to each location exploring and painting on site while interacting with park visitors.  In 2019 Janet was a guest artist/teacher for the local middle school program "Look Where We Live" and spent several days mentoring aspiring artists at the national parks. 

In 2020 and 2021, Janet won a first place ribbon for her work, which was part of the Canyon River Runners Art Show at the John Wesley Powell River History Museum in Green River, Utah. 

Janet is a member of the Delicate Stitchers Quilt Guild in Moab, Utah.  For more information about the guild, check them out on Facebook.

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