Janet Botes

LEFT: Follow your Intuition, Mixed media on canvas, R4000
My paintings are often created in layers, and this artwork started off straight away with a seed-like structure, which can now be seen as a ‘source of light’ in the upper half of the painting, and the roots that grow into the bottom of the painting. For me listening to my intuition means to follow my inclinations to spend time in the ocean, forests, and mountains. It means listening to my heart, following my bliss, and rooting deeper into who I am – shedding the preconceptions, identities and stereotypes that I’ve been abiding by. This rooting or grounding into who I am is then an expression of what I perceive as reality. Reality for me is not merely what we see, but it’s what we feel, sense, think, perceive, experience and it all forms part of a world of absolute MAGIC and beauty, even though it can so often feel or look like the opposite is true. 

RIGHT: Reaching, Mixed media on canvas, R3200
A quite symbolic and stylized painting ‘Reaching’ is aimed at evoking a feeling of connection but also of striving for more connection.  I initialy wanted to title the artwork as ‘reaching for the unseen’, but wanted to keep it more open-ended or universal, since some people are reaching for more joy, reaching for meaning, reaching for higher understanding, or other concepts and goals… The symbols or shapes around the hand were intuitively painted, and the painting were created in layers of colour, textures and shapes, which include the rain and leaf shapes in the background that emphasize the importance of our interconnection with the natural environment for our happiness and growth. 

LEFT: Feel the Energy, Mixed media on canvas, R2600
This is one of two paintings in which I used my own palm print. I have recently felt a renewed interest in palmistry or palm reading, in which one can see meaning and messages about your life and personality in the shape and lines of one’s own hands. This painting is also inspired by the concept of energy healing – through which you would concentrate universal, reiki or healing energy into the palms of your hands – channeling it from Source energy / God / the Universe – to then transfer it to another living being as an act of healing or blessing. To the left of the hand in the painting are rocks – a symbol timeless energy: pebbles, rocks, stones, gems and crystals have grown their energetic nature over thousands and millions of years as matter concentrates and compresses within the particles of each stone.

RIGHT: Connected, Mixed media on canvas, R2600
This is one of two paintings created this year (2021) in which I used my own palm print as personal expression, as well as a universal symbol for the tactile AND energetic nature of life and ‘reality’. Two hands symbolise the connection we have with each other as human beings, while the dashed line depicts our connection with something beyond our physical selves – with the Universe, Source energy, God, or with the Earth, or Gaia. The earthy, firey, colours refer to the latter as our source of life, source of sustenance, and source of… connection. 

LEFT: You are Nature, Mixed media on paper, R800. RIGHT: Power in your handsĀ , Ink on paper, R600

Contact the artist:
Janet Botes
061 024 8389

Janet Botes is an artist whose work includes Land Art, Installation Art, Drawing, Painting, Mixed Media, Photography, Digital Art and Assemblage – and often involves her working just as much in the outdoors than in the studio. Her conceptual focus primarily revolves around our place and connection within the web of life and aims to honour the sacredness, cycles, and biodiversity of the Earth in her art and workshops.  Currently, Janet is integrating her spiritual practice into her artistic practice in ways that (1) seek to inspire others to see the magic in everyday life, (2) expressing her emotional response to the world, and (3) emphasize the creative ritual as a guiding force for sacred and embodied living. 

With an intuitive, exploratory approach to art,the initial concept for an artwork often changes and evolves over a period of days or weeks. The process is guided by spontaneous responses to the subject matter and materials, and in this sense each artwork is a new exploration and adventure. This results in the variety of art forms she employs, and the variety of expressions – which include landscapes, nature studies in watercolour, found object sculptures, abstract paintings, and detailed drawings of roots, leaves, animals and insects.

With a BTech qualification in Graphic Design (Cum Laude) from the Vaal University of Technology (2006) Janet works as a graphic designer alongside her art practice, and gets involved with projects that relate to art and the environment. Janet has helped to coordinate monthly land art gatherings for artists based in the Western Cape, and has volunteered as a team member for Site_Specific and Anni Snyman’s Karoo Geoglyph Project. She created art in South Korea in August 2015 as part of the Global Nomadic Art Project, and helped to coordinate the South African leg of the project, Stories of Rain, in 2016. She has also been a participating artist for residencies that include the Tankwa Artscape residency, Thupelo, and OPENLab ( as part of the Programme for Innovation in Artform Development (PIAD), an initiative of the Vrystaat Arts Festival and University of the Free State) .

Janet’s first solo exhibition ‘Wild & Still: expressions of the landscape’ was shown in June 2014 by StateoftheArt Gallery in Cape Town, who also hosted her second solo exhibition ‘ORGANISM’ in April 2016. Janet’s art is included in several corporate and private art collections, and she has done artwork commissions for PPS Investments, Optima Training, Heyns & Partners Inc, and the Sandown MyCiti bus station in Bloubergstrand, Cape Town. Since 2007 she has participated in workshops in concept development, art therapy, performance art, and professional art practice, which served to further her knowledge, enrich her art practice, and enhance her teaching abilities.