top of page

About the Artist

Janelle Bighinatti

I see the world through the lens of history. An only child descended from Italian immigrants on one side and American pioneers on the other, I am my family's genealogy expert. Favorite movies? Silent films. Cars? 1930's roadsters. Music? Early Jazz. Travel? Take me somewhere with old buildings. Anything that brings history to life, I'm all in.

Nearly every creative expression under the sun is fascinating to me, and I have dabbled in so many of them it's ridiculous, from ballet to acting to sewing to flamenco guitar (let me spare you the rundown a mile long). My ADD brain is both my deepest challenge and my greatest gift.

Contemplative prayer, retreats, and monastic spirituality are my lifeblood. Pilgrimage has long been a major theme in my personal history; I've been to Lourdes, Fatima, Assisi, Rome, the Vézelay Chemin de Saint Jacques, and two World Youth Days, among others. A walk along the Camino Ingles in Spain is currently in the works. 

I am an unabashed Francophile, and can make a perfect cheese soufflé. I adore Medieval culture, foreign films, and throwing themed cocktail parties.

Working toward an unsettled, adventurous life is my biggest creative project. 


My home base is a small town in the glorious Skagit Valley, an hour north of Seattle.

About the Art

The work of an alchemist is to turn lead into gold...

Turin, Italy - urban landscape photograph take a bit of chemistry and a bit of mysticism and out of it create magic. With my contemplative photographer eye, I perceive the potential for this magic in the most hidden of places. All it needs is to be uncovered.  


I am constantly drawn toward portals, in one way or another. Intimate alcoves of ancient buildings, doors, gates, dramatic light and shadow, scenes evoking mystery. For the intrigue they conjure, and the adventures they inspire. Obscure, unusual stories and exotic corners of the world fire my imagination, as do grand cultural narratives that span the centuries ~ legends weaving together myth with reality.

My photography, a mix of film and digital, combines the curiosity of photojournalism with the intimacy of a still life painting. My poetry and watercolor paintings explore themes of journeys, transformation, and the interior life. My painting styles are often inspired by ancient artistic techniques such as mosaics and stained glass.

The Great Art of Light and Shadow is my art blog, where I talk about what inspires me, what fascinates me. I love learning about stunning, innovative creativity and the backstory behind it. Encouraging other artists in their vocation is immensely important to me. 


My PATREON page is primarily where I share the fruit of that inspiration: the work I am creating, the development of my projects, and my own creative process. Follow me there for in-depth postings, and pledge a tiny subscription if you'd like to help me get more of my artwork out into the world. 

bottom of page