Janet Rickus was born in Chicopee, MA. Her parents owned a grocery store, but she said that had nothing to do with her choice of produce as her favorite subject matter. She started painting landscapes and portraits after graduating with a B.S. from Central Connecticut State University in 1971, and first began painting still lifes in 1983.
Rickus’s still lifes are painted actual size, at eye level, and are often arranged on a surface covered with crisply ironed or softly draped table linens. She always paints during the day in natural light. Whether she’s painting pears or squash, turnips or peppers, she precisely captures the color, shape, texture and shadow of her subjects. She is meticulous and unhurried, selecting just the right specimens, arranging them just so, and painting them with great concentration and precision, demonstrating expert technique comparable to the Dutch and French still life masters. Although carefully selected and arranged by the artist, Rickus’s fruits and vegetables seem to have developed relationships of their own. They interact in friendly harmony, sometimes leaning against one another, sometimes huddled together in a cluster.
Rickus was awarded the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Grant in Painting in 2006. Her paintings are held in major public and private collections internationally. She has been featured in multiple group and solo exhibitions in Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Florida, including a solo exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, MA.