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About Me

I'M Janaka Stagnaro

As Artist

My journey in art began in 1984, when a colleague was drawing a dragon in the cubicle next to me. I was enviously amazed. "I wish I could do that," I said. "You can. Just go to the library and get a book on how to draw. And do it!" I hemmed and hawed and said I was no artist. However, I ignored my protestations and did as he suggested. And I drew a tiger. Fireworks went off! Somewhere along my educational career I was taught I was not an artist, and that only artists make art. A short while later I was off to serve in the Peace Corps in Cameroon, West Africa. I brought some supplies, a couple of books, and began teaching myself how to draw and paint. Here is my first watercolor.  

In 1993, I began my formal training in the arts while studying to be a Waldorf teacher, an educational system for children that incorporates art in all aspects of education, which I have been teaching for 25 years. Not only have I included art as part of my spiritual path, but it is also my mission to remind people of the creativity waiting to blossom.   For the most part, my work is contemplative or visionary. I attempt to merge the infinite and the finite, the seer and the seen. I hope my work, both visual and written, help people heighten or alter their perceptions of the world around and within.  As of March 2022, I have moved into a studio in the heart of Carmel-by-the Sea in the Warren Building at Ocean and Mission. It has been a joy connecting with this thriving artistic community of this historically creative haven. Call for an appointment (831) 601-2092, and I would love to share my work with you.

"I have been looking at your stunning art. It is so deep, straight out of the depths of Deep Soul. And, then other pieces, the Spirit in them is so alive that I am breathless upon feeling the impact of them. You are a brilliant, sensitive and emotional artist. There is something intensely alive or visceral, something extremely organic and connected that is expressed in your beautiful paintings." --Robin Easton, author of Naked in Eden

I hope you will enjoy what you see here. Please make sure you sign up for my newsletter so you can see new and old works, and read my writing. Commissions are available.

As Author

I have authored ten books, with an 11th on the way. The majority of the books are for adults and are spiritual in nature. Three of my books are for the young child, inspired by my years teaching in Waldorf schools.

"Janaka is a loving artist, poet, and teacher. Numerous of his paintings, “Inner Visionary Paintings”, which work with archetypal images, were exhibited on the show. The colors in his paintings and the paintings themselves seem to reach out and touch one’s soul. Janaka shared with us his fascinating on-going spiritual journey and his magnificent poetry. All his works and efforts are to help others find the Peace of their Being. His life exemplifies a Spirit of Oneness, a Spirit of Love." --Alan, Bridging Heaven and Earth

As Reader/Guide

Began playing with the Tarot when I was in middle school 50 years ago. I began my professional career 30 years ago as the Tarot reader for the famous Bodhi Tree Bookstore of Hollywood. I gained a lot of knowledge about the human condition doing thousands of readings. I work with clients with specific questions or go deeper in transformative work. I am well-versed with many spiritual paths, Eastern and Western. 

"Janaka, you are a Way Shower. People come to you in these crazy times so that you can remind us who we are. Thank you." --Christine, California

"I had a very helpful Tarot reading last night. Confirmatory of the chapter I am in and what the potential futures are to come. It was helpful to visualize the cards and hear their suggestions/in no uncertain terms!! Stepped it up today ~ moved by the clarity they brought, the dreams that followed and the support and insight from Janaka. Thank you SOO much."

"I remember having a reading with you when you were at the Bodhi Tree Bookstore. There was one thing you said that I have kept as a daily reminder, “Follow your nose.” By staying in the present moment I have become very successful in my musical career. Thank you for those wise words so long ago." --Mike, Scotland

"I really appreciate that you do not sugar-coat your readings. I like your honesty that forces me to look upon my stuff. But you do it in a gentle way, without any sense of judgment, and you are there reminding me that I am not my stuff." --Pam, California

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the times you’ve read tarot cards for me. So refreshing to take a fresh look at what might be - to imagine my dreams - and to envision a path forward. Even getting the scary death card - and seeing that it isn’t necessarily all that bad. I’m glad I was open to it as it’s been a great experience. You do a great job as a guide. Thank you!" --Gina, California

This business has been designated as a "Trusted Art Seller" with 

The Art Storefronts Organization, which means you can shop with confidence, and know that I stand behind the quality and value of my products.


While technically self-educated in the realm of art, I have studied the works of many a master. Major influences are Van Gogh, O'Keefe, Nicholas Roerich, Group of Seven, Marsden Hartley and many more. However, the greatest inspiration is my connection with God, All That Is, Consciousness, Great Spirit, or whatever Name you want to call the Ineffable One. And this connection is what my books and my readings are all about.


I like to work in a variety of mediums, which primarily include oils, watercolor, pastels, colored pencils, charcoal, and graphite. I may use photographs or sketches, but much of my work will just arise spontaneously out of a play of colors, light, and shadows. 

Career Highlights

*2022 Monterey County History Exhibition (4 works accepted)

*2022 Art Instructor for Arts Council of Monterey

*2021 Associate Artist at the Carmel Valley Artist Association

* Represented in 5 galleries in Oregon and California

* Author of 10 books

* 25 years teaching the arts as a Waldorf teacher

* Tarot reader at the Bodhi Tree Bookstore, Hollywood

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This Website Supports Augmented Reality to Live Preview Art

This means you can use the camera on your phone or tablet and superimpose any piece of art onto a wall inside of your home or business.

To use this feature, Just look for the "Live Preview AR" button when viewing any piece of art on this website!

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