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  • Writer's pictureW.S. BARNETT

Meet Naples, Florida Artist J.D. Naraine

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

One of the treasures about art is the gift of meeting the artist behind the masterpiece. I am always impacted by their stories and by what inspires them to create. Recently, I met and interviewed Naples Artist J.D. Naraine.

Janie (J.D.) Naraine is a fine artist who works in mixed media. The figure is her inspiration. Janie began her career as a children's portrait artist while at home raising her children. During the past 15 years, Naraine has created non-commissioned work using inspiration from her love of color and movement.

Naraine says,

"I have always loved art. I began a major in Fine Art after high school but was persuaded to switch to a more "practical" major. The love of art and expression kept my heart aching to get back to painting, and so I did. 20+ years ago, I painted a portrait of my young daughter. A neighbor commissioned me for her three children after seeing that portrait, and my career was born!

I began my transition from portraiture by joining artists groups and entering my work in many local and national juried exhibitions. Although I was successful in these endeavors, I no longer feel the call to participate in this type of exhibition. I am currently encouraged and represented by galleries in Indiana, New York, and Naples. These associations keep me busy and motivated to keep creating. For me, a real accomplishment is when my work touches the heart and brings joy to a collector."


What is your favorite Beethoven musical work (s)? And why?

My favorite Beethoven musical work is Symphony 9, the 4th movement. It is commonly known as "Ode to Joy." It is a choral symphony, the final complete symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven. This symphony stands alone as one of the most performed symphonies in the world. First performed in Vienna in 1824, revised lyrics were added in 1907 by H. Van Dyke.

I am not a musician, and I cannot precisely say what moves me about this piece, but it uplifts my heart when I hear it performed. To me, it expresses joy and hope and special worship to the Father. The lyrics begin with adoration, then petitions God to "drive the dark of doubt away" (essential words for artists) and asks Him to "teach us how to love each other....lift us to the joy divine." These are amazing words set to the most rapturous and inspirational music, obviously created by a musical genius, divinely gifted. This symphony is a popular choice in "flash mob" performances all over the world, with combined views of over 45,000,000 on YouTube! Here is one of my favorite flash mob performances (with over 27 million views): Be prepared to shed a tear at the beauty of this fantastic symphony and witness the joy it brings to others.

Beethoven was a man of great faith who saw music as a medium that could be experienced anywhere. What are your thoughts on the power of the arts to transform lives?

The power of the arts touches me deeply. To hear and touch and see the beauty that has been created and expressed by others can bring such happiness. To look outside and see the magnificence of the Master Artist's creation is to be transformed every day. The words of the Bible express some of the most beautiful inspired poetry of all time. God's divine words continue to touch and speak to us to this day. The 23rd Psalm is one of my favorite poetic psalms for inspiration, comfort, and peace.

“Creating art is an ever changing, learning and evolving process. The journey of creating and doing what I love has provided me with a process of discovery and expression; exploring who I am and what I can convey through my art. My communication with the world has always been most clearly shared and understood through visual expression.”

Purple Face, 12 x 18, mixed media.

How do you connect your art to your faith?

As a portrait artist, I committed to pray for each child as I painted them. As a contemporary artist, I am always seeking new ideas and inspiration. I continually pray for His guidance. Motivational scriptures, written on the walls of my studio, daily remind me of His participation in my work:

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My loving eye on you." Psalm 32:8; "If you need wisdom, ask your generous God, and He will give it to you." James 1:5; "Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might." Ecclesiastes 9:10.

I seek to honor the Lord in ALL I do, and I gratefully thank and acknowledge Him for the blessing of this special gift.

To see more of J.D. Naraine's works of art visit

Copyright 2020, William S. Barnett

No portion of this content can be copied, electronically stored, or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.

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