Janet Lucas BeckJanet Smith Lucas Beck is an oil painter whose primary interest is portraying atmosphere and the effects of light on subjects.  Her favorite subjects include landscapes, street scenes, figures and still life.  Janet particularly enjoys painting from sketches and reference photos that she has taken from her travels throughout the United States and Europe.

Janet studied painting under John Lonergan for several years, and has also taken classes or workshops from artists including Tom Browning, Mark Carder, Kim English, William Jameson, Charles Sovek and Camille Przewodek.   She has participated in numerous art shows in Birmingham, Nashville and Knoxville, and was the featured artist for the Webbfest Art Show 2004 in Knoxville. Her paintings are included in private and corporate collections across the United States, including Harbert Management Corporation, Energen Corporation, Alabama Power Company, Regions Bank, Oakworth Capital Bank, Cadence Bank and Spring House Restaurant at Lake Martin.

Janet is represented by the Beverly McNeil Gallery in Birmingham, the Red Bird Gallery in Seaside, Florida and The Village Exchange in Knoxville. She is a member of the Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionist Society.

Janet lives in Birmingham, Alabama.  She and her husband, Cary Beck, have five children and four grandchildren.  She is originally from Knoxville, Tennessee and received a B.A. from the University of Virginia.

Personal Art Statement

When I was in high school I read a historical novel about the painter Titian, where the author wrote that when Titian looked out his window in Venice he saw the scene before him in terms of color as if he were painting it.  I remember thinking that I would never be a painter since I did not view the world that way.

Some time after beginning to paint I realized that I was seeing the landscape as an arrangement of colors as I had imagined Titian seeing the Italian scene before him. I decided that one does not become a painter because one sees the world differently than others, but rather one begins to see the world differently after becoming a painter.

Inspired by the colors and subtleties of the landscape, I observe the colors of the grasses, trees and distant horizons whether I am looking out my window at home, traveling along the interstates of the beautiful Southern United States, riding a bicycle down a country road in Europe or walking in my neighborhood at dusk. I enjoy capturing the effects of light, shadow, atmosphere and weather.  I like to paint reflections:   light reflecting in the water as the sun is setting in the gulf,  light reflecting  on rainy city streets, light reflecting on the hard surfaces of porcelain or glass bottles.

I love to travel and view my paintings as an attempt to demonstrate the beauty and variety of God’s creation.

Painting Technique

An oil painter, Janet focuses on the effects of atmosphere and light on landscapes, street scenes, and still lifes.

When painting landscapes and street scenes, Janet references sketches and photographs that she has taken throughout her travels in the United States and Europe. She also occasionally paints on location or paints scenes from her imagination.  For still life, she sets up porcelains, fresh flowers and/or fruit and then proceeds to manipulate lighting and shadow to create an arrangement of contrasting shapes, colors and textures.

To create a variety of textures, Janet employs a combination of brushes and knives, applying thick paint to some areas while leaving other areas thinly painted.  At times she paints “wet into wet” and other times she scumbles or glazes over dry paint.   She works on several paintings at one time.