Color was everywhere in Neenah Wisconsin where Justine was born … acres of golden, glowing corn, groves of oak trees and apple orchards vied with sunsets in the glory of the natural world that surrounded her. As a 5-year old child, she knew she would be an artist. During family vacations to the west, the experience of mountains and open vistas had a profound effect on Justine, one that she never forgot. Justine earned her BFA at the School of Art Institute of Chicago and MFA at Northern Illinois University where she studied with internationally recognized printmakers Vera Berdich and David Driesbach. As an Associate Professor at Loyola University of Chicago Justine taught Printmaking, Drawing, and Color Theory for 22 years.
The call of the west was ever with her. Over the years Justine undertook historical and archaeological research studies and many excursions to Egypt and especially to Mexico. In 1989, Justine’s husband suggested that they visit Arizona. It was a fateful journey; Justine again saw the vast mountain vistas and vivid sunsets that so inspired her in youth. Several years later she made her home in Fountain Hills, Arizona and became the Drawing and Painting Artist in Residence for the City of Phoenix. While there, she created workshops in collage and mixed media watercolor and began extensive work with Ampersand clayboards. Justine continued to exhibit her artwork nationally and internationally as she has throughout her career; she has works in many public collections including the Illinois State Museum, Fountain Hills Community Center and the National Museum of Women. An ardent voice for the arts, Justine sat on the National Board of Directors for the Women’s Caucus for Art, New York and as President of the Arizona AWCA. She taught art at Mesa Community College in Arizona for 12 years.
As a consummate colorist with expertise in printmaking, clayboard provides Justine with a surface that has unusual possibilities. Using ink for painting, she brushes in layers of iridescent inks and transparent colored inks to create shimmering landscapes and a wide variety of desert plant paintings. She adds texture with rhythmic, linear effects by etching into the white under-layer of the boards. This unique combination of materials and technique yields rare paintings filled with depth and dynamism.
Justine’s paintings are charged with ever-changing light and color, and living texture that invites one to step into that vibrantly alive land, and walk its magical pathways. A personal experience with the landscape is intertwined with my love of archaeology. Journeys to many sacred sites in the Southwest have enhanced my images with multiple layers of meaning. My layered paintings depict landscape both as an abstraction and a visually created window into reality. I am inspired by clouds traveling across the mountains casting shadows on the land; Intense sunsets, which are a magical part of the summer monsoon season; The Land as the spiritual center for the entry into the otherworld; The desert itself, conjuring up mystic winds in a continuous movement, connecting the desert to the sacred in nature. Justine Mantor~Waldie paintings … charged with ever-changing light and color, and living texture that invites one to step into that vibrantly alive land, and walk its magical pathways.