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Jana Bussanich: Yellow Couch Creative Makes a Community.

Updated: Jul 29, 2022

Watercolor Sketch of the Yellow Couch by Jana Bussanich.

"Oh, you know it seems to go, that you don't know what you've got till it's gone...."

Joni Mitchell from Big Yellow Taxi

We all felt the truth of Mitchell's lyric during the two-year period when the Pandemic was raging. The simple fellowship of others was extremely limited. As a result we all had to get creative. Some of us artists went out plein air painting, a nice outdoor activity allowing that required 6 feet of personal space. Others, like Bussanich, took to the Internet to give ZOOM classes, which helped to keep the creativity flowing and healing the spirit. Her art classes, by the way, were voted Best Art Classes in the Best of Colorado Springs, 2021. If you would like to get a feel for how Bussanich inspires and instructs her students, listen to Michelle's interview: To experience Bussanich's teaching methods, sign up for Jana's next Free Recurring Monthly Color Mixing Demo and Talk HERE.

However, Bussanich had other plans. Artists need to be able to get together and share their knowledge and experiences, regardless of level. "We all need community with those who will encourage and support our ideas. Supporting you to make your art your way is always

the goal of any Yellow Couch Artist-to-Artist interaction," says Bussanich. To that end, Yellow Couch Creative is now a functioning entity, and Yellow Couch Community is alive and well as a Facebook group.

Bussanich is a watercolor artist primarily, though she also uses ink and pencil. Yellow Couch Creative and Gallery is the place where she shows her art, where she works to create that art, and where she shares that space to allow other artists to communicate with one another. Artists tend to work in isolation, which means that having ways to connect as a community becomes very important.

Bussanich's idea of creating a community on a private Facebook group. The Yellow Couch Community welcomes artists worldwide who are interested in sharing ideas, dreams, and goals in a supportive community of fellow creators, allowing those connections to flourish to the greater benefit of art-lovers everywhere. Like the ripples in a pond, her outreach to the artists helps the arts reach out to the general populace, so everyone benefits.

Watercolor, after Winslow Homer by Jana Bussanich

In her teaching, Bussanich often looks at the techniques of great artists and in particular she pays attention to the color palettes they use. This piece is reminiscent of that great 19th century American watercolor artist, Winslow Homer, in terms of its fluidity and ability to capture the action of the wind. Bussanich has also looked at the colors used by the famous British watercolorist, J.M.W. Turner, who often made plein air sketches, some of which later turned into oil paintings. Since immediacy is important when sketching, especially in plein air where one must carry one's materials to the site one wants to paint, Bussanich is developing a new limited palette system that is easily packable, lightweight, and functional for every watercolor artist's needs.

In October of 2021, Bussanich entered into another venture, the publication of a book on watercolor techniques and color theory. The subtitle indicates her focus on the artist's goals: "Cultivate an art practice that works for you and your art." So many people, even artists, shy away from watercolor either because they have heard that it is difficult or have experienced their own troubles with getting the results that they wanted. Bussanich's treatment of some basic concepts like color theory, which affects what combinations of paint go on the painting surface, can greatly help those delving into the mysteries of watercolor. (I, too, am a watercolor painter, and believe me there are mysteries.)

Proof positive of how Bussanich creates community is the current offering for July.

After Natalie Becker's breast cancer diagnosis and surgery, she contacted Bussanich in May of 2021 about her vision for a survivors art show after she underwent treatment and was in recovery. Dealing with such an illness is not an uncommon experience and one that affects women artists just as it does other women. The group show includes the work of Maria Battista, Melanie Clay, Julie Cutting, Laurel Justice, Diane Lassen, Joanne Lavender, and Patty Williams. The artwork consists of oil paintings, pastels, charcoal works, and sculptures. A portion of the art sales proceeds benefits the Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation.

As part of this month-long exhibition which focuses on prevention, early detection, and thriving after breast cancer. It includes a series of four Saturday events that deal with different aspects of healing, from mental health to diet to healing practices like yoga and acupuncture. While two of the presentations will have passed at the publication of this blog post, there are still two that remain.

24 July, Saturday, Noon - 3:00 p.m.

Topic: Healing Therapies During and After Cancer

■ Laura Pomeranke, MD, Southern Colorado's most respected breast surgeons ■ Speakers: Michelle Gutmann, Massage Therapist; Sarah Masse, Reiki Master, Sanctuary of Growth.

30 July, Saturday, Noon - 3:00 p.m.

Topic: Yoga's Benefits on Mental Health Hannah Beachy, Acupuncture used in Breast Cancer Recovery.

Free Event: To reserve your seat, contact Natalie Becker at 719 644-0340. All events occur at Jana L. Bussanich Art, Yellow Couch Creative 218 W. Colorado Avenue, Suite 111, Colorado Springs, CO.

Jana sitting on the yellow couch at Yellow Couch Creative.

Should you get the chance when you visit Yellow Couch Creative to talk a bit with Jana, do have her tell you of the creative adventure that she had when making that yellow couch. Her inventiveness never ends. Get a feeling for the vibe at Yellow Couch Creative in this Instagram piece and do follow Bussanich on Instagram. Just click this link:

Jana L. Bussanich Art, Yellow Couch Creative 218 W. Colorado Avenue Colorado Springs, CO 80903 (719) 428-0167 For more on me and my art and travel inspired writing, see my author page at Should you be interested in articles on art history combined with a discussion of wines, go to my other art blog, © Marjorie Vernelle 2022

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