Four years since debuting her work at the Raven House Gallery in downtown Mancos, local artist Janet Chanay will be exhibiting previously unseen work at the gallery on Sept. 11.
Drawing inspiration from the scenes in the natural world around her, Chanay's artistic hallmark is her keen ability to create memorable compositions out of the ordinary.
"Photography made me look at things I hadn't looked at before. If I stop to take a landscape, I also stop to take pictures of the rocks under my feet," she said. "I always tell people who say there's nothing to take a picture of that they haven't looked down."
The retired Montezuma-Cortez High School English teacher got into photography late in life, first experimenting with the medium when she was leading a class of high school journalism students. When photography became digital is when she really found her stride artistically, Chanay says.
"One of the beauties of digital is you can teach yourself while you go. I have a program that allows you to see the metadata and the settings, lighting, aperature, used on each shot, and you can see what went wrong or what didn't," said Chanay.
Her upcoming show at Raven House, titled "Night & Day," features eight to 10 color and six black and white photos.
While the abundance of color in the Four Corners would seem like an artist's paradise, Chanay says she finds herself experimenting more with black and white Giclee prints.
"I like black and white an awful lot," she said. "It shows you what's important. "It's not about the color, it's about the subject. What's in the picture."
An opening for "Night & Day" is scheduled for Sept. 11 at the Raven House Gallery from 6-8 p.m. Chanay's prints will be on display for two weeks after the opening.