Moore was born in Canada. Her family is from Nova Scotia and she goes back every year to spend time with them; to learn more history and to absorb the incredible visuals of the place. She grew up in northern Maine in Aroostook County. Schools still closed for fall harvest then; a tradition mostly gone now. Young kids could work on the ground, but not on the harvester which paid more. She tried joining in the harvest for several seasons and was a terrible picker, falling behind almost immediately as the tractor unearthed more and more potatoes. She would eventually give away her section and flip over an empty barrel to take in her surroundings: patterns made by row after row from each pass of the tractor and wide open sky, sometimes with beautiful clouds in every direction.
She moved with her family to the coast when she was fourteen, eventually finding her tribe of creatives where she felt included and accepted. After graduating from Waynflete school and Sarah Lawrence College (both incredible places for a young artist to explore and expand), she travelled in many directions, living in Paris and New York City before eventually returning to Maine to raise her son and pursue her quest for being useful, despite her poor labor skills. She works from her studio in Freeport Maine.
Moore has engaged in an ongoing exploration of Maine's industrial landscapes and what she describes as ‘the architecture of usefulness’. She believes that in Maine landscapes, “we often reference an idealized, natural place of woods, mountains, and coastline which Maine is rightly known for, but there’s another equally intriguing landscape that tells an important truth about us, our history and our culture.”
She has shown her work in many traditional gallery settings, and has a particular interest in showing her non industrial landscapes in places of healing, having spent a fair amount of time in them and knowing first hand their value.
I move slowly; not by choice. My hands don’t work very well. My energy is limited and unpredictable. Paintings often take years for me to complete and I never really consider them done. I’m always conscious of how to be useful under these circumstances; of what I can add. I organize and curate exhibits (sometimes in nontraditional spaces) for other artists and myself around ideas that resonate. There’s room now for new ways of making art happen for more voices and that’s really exciting.
I’m always inspired by words of other creators. When a particular quote resonates, I write it on a spare surface of my studio so I can see it and be reminded daily of my purpose and potential.
One of my very favorite quotes comes from Donna Tart’s novel, The Goldfinch which is about many things including a painting:
“To understand the world at all, sometimes you could only focus on a tiny bit of it, look very hard at what was close to hand and make it stand in for the whole.”
Copyright © 2019 Janice L. Moore