Janet Herman and her thread paintings

Hands, Foot, Heart and Soul

Guiding color into fiber of rough cotton my inspiration takes form.
With hands gripping layers of fabric, twisting and turning under a fast, sharp needle, foot on the pedal; I drive a fine tuned engine laying roadways of thread to tell my story. 
Painting is my heart.
Thread is my soul.

Artist’s Statement

My inspiration comes from line and form in nature that I capture by camera. The challenge is presenting my inspiration as engaging textile art created with watercolor paint, fabric layers and thread. 

This media is considered textile, or fiber, art.  It is a watercolor or acrylic painting on cotton, under laid with quilt batting and over laid with hand manipulated machine stitching (aka. free motion embroidery). This technique imparts texture through many layers and color from both paint and embroidery thread. Click to go to portfolio introduction. Or, click to go to commissioned textile art details.

About Me and My Art Media

Always behind dozens of careers was a love of creative work and sewing, whether garments or decor; and a love of photographing nature and experimenting with paint.

When I found and fell in love with watercolor and acrylic painting,
it just seemed natural to put it all together.

My goal is to present common images in an uncommon way, with a wink toward realism. How “real” is fabric and thread in nature? It’s not.  But, neither is acrylic, oil paint or canvas. My point is, when looking into our natural surroundings we see textures we want to touch, to connect with. I strive for touchable art to connect with. 

All that technical, not artsy, stuff

This textile art is also framed by me using conservation techniques: air space in the frame and air permeable backing paper plus conservation glass to protect my art from UV rays and dirt, whether at art shows or in your home. Equally important is how watercolor and acrylic paint bonds to the fabric; and preparing the wood frames. You will see that I use wood frames. These are USA made solid wood frames that have a deep enough rabbet for my textile art, are light weight and inexpensive. The frames take well to glazing in any color to suit the art or your desires. Museum Glass provides the best UV protection and clarity to see thread detail. So, if there is any glass over my art, it has to be Museum Glass by Tru-Vue. 

The spacer mats I use are acid free paper. Some have have been covered with canvas, painted or sealed to protect them from dirt. 


How long is archival? I don’t believe anyone really knows. I believe I am utilizing archival techniques in my art creation and helping to preserve its life with my framing techniques.

My artwork is a thick composite of textiles and thread. It is wrapped around acid free board made by United Industries, called “UltraBoard.” It is a rigid, inert board that is warp resistant. That is important over the long term. My watercolor and acrylic paints are blended with fabric medium, a product allows paint to be washable. Not that I intend for my art to get laundered! The surface is sprayed with a Scotchgard-like product to protect the fabric from future handling. While cotton fabric may not last forever, the addition of paint and polyester thread may extend that lifespan. The batting is polyester fleece because it will not retain moisture should humidity ever enter the frame. If framed with glass, the air space between the art and the glass, as well as the air permeable backing paper should balance the humidity inside the frame and extend its life. We have all heard that textiles need to “breathe.” So, I feel I have done as much as I can to ensure a long life for your textile art. 

To Cover with Glass, or Not

As the owner of any textile/fabric/fiber art, you are tasked with deciding: do I leave it open and dust it or do I glass it in? The answer will lay in where the artwork is hung. Cover with UV glass if its in a sunny room or entry. Leave it uncovered if its in a normally dark bedroom or hallway; or, somewhere in between.  By the way, the best tools for dusting art are a very soft bristle goathair brush (like a makeup or shaving brush) or a soft vacuum attachment.

Sun and humidity are the enemy of art, the paper mats and the frame. All artwork, not just mine. I understand your master bath needs great art. But, if you can not spray the artwork with water, it doesn’t belong in the bathroom or on an open porch. That is, unless you accept that artwork exposed to high humidity and direct sun may mold or warp and its life will likely be shorter. 

A selection of reproduction prints featuring past and current artwork are available in my Shop.

Contact: via email at Jan@JanetHermanArt.com

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