05 Jun Janie Higgins
I declared art as my major upon entering the University of Memphis with plans to pursue a BFA. I later changed my major to education. Although my BS degree was in education, playful art served a vital role in my teaching strategies throughout my long career in both Kentucky and Tennessee. But, as many educators can attest, there is little time to enjoy painting with time constraints that being a parent, teaching full-time, and life’s general demands bring.
Fast forward to 2014 retirement: hello, oil painting! Living atop Petit Jean Mountain in central Arkansas has brought much natural inspiration. So many of my paintings reflect the beauty found in the rugged landscapes, delicate flora, intriguing caves, aboriginal rock art as well as animals, both domestic and wild.
My husband and I are Arkansas Master Naturalists, enjoy cultivating our area on the mountain with (mostly) native plants, and provide a licensed raptor rehabilitation facility for birds of prey who need a little help getting back to the skies.
My paintings have been in a few exhibits, some competitions, and on display at Mather Lodge in Petit Jean State Park. I have also had several local commissions. I continue to push my sense of style and execution, improve in technical areas, and press my limits by digesting a variety of masterful works of art. My mantra, sculpted by my decades in the classroom, is to never stop learning. I try to apply that to my life daily, especially in painting.