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Healing Reins in Soft Pastel

Acrylic on canvas, framed and under glass

By Janet Rawlings

18 x 24 inches

$950 ($570 of which will be a donation to Healing Reins)

This piece pays tribute to the therapeutic riding experience, with the leader ensuring the safety of the horse and the two side walkers assisting the rider. The rider’s bright red shirt captures our attention, while his forward leaning posture conveys the energy and excitement of being on horseback in Central Oregon’s great outdoors.

JANET RAWLINGS is a self-taught, award-winning fine artist who has maintained an interest in art throughout her life. As a small child, Janet loved to doodle and draw animals in exacting proportions. As a young adult, she began to formalize these explorations into fully-realized images using pastel pencils. Her artistic interests morphed into a career as a Technical Designer/Drafter, which ended prematurely in her early forties due to health complications. It was then that Janet dove back into fine art. With soft pastels as her primary medium, Janet studied under numerous renowned pastel artists and completed several college level art classes. Later, she co-created and for six years directed a weekly art group in Medford, Oregon.

Janet is an active member of the Pastel Society of Oregon, Pastel Society of the West Coast, Plein Air Painters of Oregon, Sagebrushers Art Society, Urban Sketchers, and the Tucson Pastel Society. She enjoys participating in local art activities like paint-outs, workshops, competitions and business displays. She is also connected online through several Facebook groups including the International Association of Pastel Societies and Thriving Christian Artists. Janet has received numerous awards for her work including “Painting of the Year” (twice, with Southern Oregon Society of Artists), “Best of Show” (Local Historical Buildings Event), and “Reserve Grand Champion – Professional” (Jackson County Fair). 

I consider it a blessing to be able to view the world through a filter of beauty and wonder. In my paintings, I want the light to draw the viewer in to experience the peacefulness of the scene that I feel. Soft pastels and occasionally charcoals, my preferred media, enable me to express vivid color and intense values. I begin by using a sanded surface and apply a wet underpainting. Although I use gloves, I enjoy the tactile application that both media require, providing a direct connection to the movement and shapes I create. My painting style is soft realism with an eclectic variety of subjects, including landscapes, architecture and wildlife. Mountains, forests, and waters particularly speak to my soul. Creating art allows me to express my love of the world around us, but it has also served as great therapy while facing a lifetime of medical challenges. Once I begin a painting, I forget about pain and instead immerse myself in the process of creating something beautiful.

-Janet Rawlings