Saturday, November 26, 2022

Interview With Artist and Author Janet Alling



1. What motivated you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and turning it into this book? I was 79 years old when I wrote the text about my life and my artwork.  I then had the perspective to see its wide range and variation. I was able to organize and assemble the paintings so others can see my journey and mission, which is to present new and challenging perceptions of nature’s world of flowers and plants.  They are my world – I live in my loft amidst 130 house plants surrounded by 50 paintings on the surrounding walls.

2. What is it about and who is it for?  I wanted to tell my story, not only for artists, about facing the challenge of continuing to paint despite personal, financial and art world barriers, particularly for women.  I think it will offer encouragement and inspire those who set out to be artists, or to find their way in any profession to believe in their abilities and persevere despite hardship.  I like to think of my paintings as a gift for myself and others – a gift of seeing deeply into not only the beauty of nature, but the strength, power, and vulnerability of its bounty.

3. What takeaways might the reader will be left with after reading it? As I indicated above, a reader will have, perhaps for the first time, a deeper, more intimate experience of Nature’s beauty, strength, power and bounty.

4. How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design? I titled the book “Unanticipated” based on my life story and the unanticipated events that occurred, yet knowing intrinsically that I needed to keep painting, to fulfill my mission. The cover selection was difficult because all the paintings reveal my mission.  I wanted the undisputable beauty of flowers to “jump” off the bookshelf.  The one chosen does this and is also suited to certain design considerations required by the book’s format.  

5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? Discover yourself and be yourself – then you will be able to meet the challenges that inevitably come your way. Also, very important, budget and keep track of what you spend, what you really need.

6. What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? We now live in such a provocative visual culture that art and illustrated books are no longer the only way to see and reflect on this work.  Nor do they have the singular appeal of decades past.   Therefore, fewer books in this category are published.  However, I think there will always be people who want to own and read a printed book, without the digital noise.  After all print is a medium that has proven its value and longevity.  

7. What challenges did you overcome to write this book? I was hospitalized with Covid-19 in 2021 and this slowed me down for months.  The writing was a personal challenge as it, at times, uncovered painful memories.

8. How would you describe your writing style? Direct, natural and to the point.

9. If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours? “UNANTCIPATED – A Life in Art” - is inspiring and uplifting and the flowers and plants are presented in original ways that will change a reader’s way of seeing them in the natural world.  

About The Author: Janet Alling attended Skidmore and then Yale School of  Art & Architecture. She studied with Alex Katz, Neil Welliver, Jack Tworkov, Philip Pearlstein. Neil had been a student of Josef Albers when he taught at Yale. Alling received a BFA 1962 & MFA 1964 and lived in New York City for 40 years. She worked at the Guggenheim in conservation with Orrin H. Riley the great conservator and painting restorer. In 1972 she moved into a loft in Noho just north of the Soho art scene.  Janet moved to Providence, RI. in 2005.  And in 2010 she had a retrospective at the Newport Art Museum.   She has devoted her artistic energy and time to redefine flower painting as a subject of modern and contemporary art.  She paints from live plants as well as from photographs she has taken.  All Janet’s work is handsomely displayed in the stunning monograph Unanticipated: A Life in Art. 

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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.2 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past decade, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, NewsdayThe Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:



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