– Rough & Ready, Ca – Nevada County

Let me introduce to you Janet Comontofski, Artist Extraordinaire. Janet lives in Rough & Ready, Ca. (which is really a good place to Google) in Nevada County. We added Janet’s Etsy shop to our “SHOP” menu item last week but have not been able to blog about her until now, sorry Janet :).

Janet is a fabulous artist as you will see but her website shows you not only her finished art, (which you can purchase) but the history of how she became an artist AND she also teaches you how to be a gourd artist yourself in her blog!
I inherited the artistic gene from my mom and her side of the family. I have been drawing, painting, stitching and creating for as long as I can remember. In high school the main art class offered was drawing. I didn’t like it much because I was limited to drawing what the instructor wanted (bowl of fruit, candy wrapper, squirrel, etc), That didn’t inspire anything in me.

As an avid gardener and self-proclaimed country girl, one day back in 2005 in the garden shop, I saw gourd seeds for sale. I knew they would be fun to grow and experiment with, so when my crop at the end of the season numbered around 25, I figured I had better get creative

I bought a book and inexpensive wood burner at the local hobby store and excitedly cut and burned and painted away. My first project wasn’t great, but it ignited a passion that continues to grow each day.

One of the main reasons I love working with gourds is that each one is different and allows me to create something unique with each one. Sometimes I get wild ideas in my head and have to go find the perfect gourd.  Other times I start with the gourd and let it show me what it wants. I love trying to transfer the ideas in my head onto the gourds. Now I spend all my free time working on gourds, designing, wood burning, painting and carving. I let my passion guide me. I am never more happy than when I am creating a beautiful work of art.

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