We had the good fortune of connecting with Jana L Bussanich and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jana L, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
Knowing who I am and what it means – what I am made for – and modeling that strong identity empowers our children (and others) to do the same.
I am the mother of four now-grown children and Nana to six grandchildren, ages 2 to 11. I have found that it’s essential to continue self-discovery, know my preferences (likes and dislikes), cultivate vital interests, and pursue my dreams apart from my role as a mother. and now grandmother. This accomplishes two (likely many more) crucial things: First, children are a temporary assignment. A mother will be better equipped to navigate and support the various stages of the child’s individuation when engaged with her own development. The irony of motherhood is to help your very dependent and needy child (as an infant) know themselves better than they know anyone else and to use that knowledge of self to create a satisfying, meaningful life. Children are like presents to be unwrapped through the years. They come to us with all they need for life, love, and relationships. We help them identify their unique shape, usually revealed through their interests that are like clues to an aptitude. When followed, this grows into competency areas, so they can go out into the world and create a meaningful life. Second, when a mother understands her identity is separate from her role as a mother, her children can see themselves as individuals who function within the family community, bringing their unique wholeness that makes up the family culture. This relieves the child from taking on the role of satisfying the mother’s (parent’s, really) unfulfilled desires, interests, and dreams and frees them to excavate and mine their own interior landscape, looking for clues to the hidden treasures of their very being.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m most excited about a new book I’ve written, Watercolor Technique and Color Theory Essentials for New and Experienced Artists, which will be available in the fall of 2021. I’ve identified five essential elements that, once mastered, lead to successful painting with watercolor. Teaching myself to paint with watercolor has yielded many benefits, including sharing what I’ve learned with others. As a teaching artist, my art and art practice are developed and expressed by showing others how to use watercolors to make artwork they love, and by developing their technical painting skills and their understanding of color theory basics. I am the founder of the Yellow Couch Classroom. A virtual watercolor art class for adults of all painting levels. With a few new tools in your toolkit and a little bit of knowledge about watercolor’s fluid characteristics, my new book can help anyone develop an art practice they feel good about and make art they feel good about, too.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to? Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them?
I’m going to assume my best friend, like me, loves to combine painting and sketching with travel for what I like to call an Art Holiday. While visiting, they hope I’ll share some of my favorite places to sketch and paint.
I live in Colorado Springs with the most amazing views of Pikes Peak, America’s Mountain, and Garden of the Gods, local hikes, beautiful scenery, and more. Our first stop will be my private studio in downtown Colorado Springs to gather urban sketching and plein aire, or open-air, painting supplies. We’ll walk from my downtown studio to the Perk, Colorado Spring’s one of oldest coffee shops. We’ll walk Tejon Street, stopping along the way to sketch what’s of interest, then make our way to the new Olympic museum, grab lunch on the terrace, then step outside for open-air painting of one of the many stunning views as seen from this vantage point.
We’ll visit a park-a-day, enjoy easy hikes, sketching, and painting in Palmer Park, Red Rocks Canyon, or Garden of the God’s Park. We’ll take a day to venture south to visit the Historic Arkansas Pueblo River Walk to enjoy the art
Food and a riverboat ride. Another day we’ll venture to Denver and visit the Denver Art Museum or Denver Botanic Gardens (depending on the weather), and end the day walking the 16th Street Mall and Larimar Square, eating Thai food at one of the 4-star eateries.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My four children, their spouses and grandchildren, and BFF, Karen Burnett Hamer.