Artist's Statement -
"My career as a full time professional artist
has grown out of a diverse background which includes
an Honors graduatiation in Fine Crafts (major in textiles
and silkscreen printing, minor in jewelry and pottery),
fashion design & sewing, teachers college, graphic
arts (several hundred designs), business administration,
laboratory science, physical education, teaching positions
in both elementary and post secondary grades, and sole
proprietor of two successful businesses.
My heritage has a great influence on my artwork, instilling
a "joie de vivre" in my more nostalgic works.
Raised in a family of dedicated volunteers, I learned
about caring and compassion; this is evident in works
such as "My Society Includes Us All". Years
as a player, coach, referee and organizer of numerous
sports has given me an appreciation of the physical
and mental requirements demanded by both amateur and
elite athletics. This background gives credibility to
the sports paintings and as a bonus, a better understanding
of anatomy and kinetics, which is proving invaluable
in my portrait and figurative work.
Every week for the past 10 years, at least one full
day is devoted to life drawing. These sessions are devoted
to skill development, study of form, experimentation
and peer support. Bus tours, potlucks, group exhibitions,
book and video sharing, work critiques, are all benefits
of this working group.
Part of my painting schedule is devoted to non-representational
work. This forces me to reconsider the basic elements
of painting-line, mass, colour, composition, movement,
etc. without relying on the strength of "detail"
in a painting. My strong illustrative background with
a great reliance on realistic representation, benefits
from the "abstract" approach of my more expressionist
work, encouraging me to be more "painterly"
with the works that do require more realism.
My innate desire to discover and invent continually
leads me to new media. My current fascination is with
winterstone sculpture, encaustic oil painting and oil
sticks and bars. I get rejuvenated with new media and
techniques, and find that my other works benefit from
Financial necessity has meant that I accept numerous
commissions, attend countless shows, and fulfill various
gallery requests. The benefit of this rather demanding
aspect of my career, has meant quick development both
artistically and exposure wise. I have had to, on more
than one occasion, put my courage behind me, and create
a work under time, client, subject and media restraints.
These situations often forced me to develop my skills
further, more quickly, and with greater perfection,
than I otherwise would have in a more relaxed situation.
Common to all full time well known artists, I do have
to protect my painting time, which is easily taken with
the "business" commitments of a prominent
art career. These include show preparations (packing,
set-up, take-down), client visits, gallery openings,
numerous phone calls/emails/mail, guest speaking, framing,
printing, shipping, charity work, etc. etc.
Originally, my goal was to "learn my craft".
Once I became reasonably proficient, I realized that
learning was a lifetime commitment. The next goal was
to add credibility to the artwork: give reason for its
creation. Initially the subject and tone of the paintings
were dark, moody, rather depressing! A gallery owner
came by my display at a show and stated: "you obviously
have talent, but why not paint other emotions? And why
not paint with bright colours?" It was then that
I realized that joy, pleasure and my native "joie
de vivre" were as valid as the darker emotions
that many current pieces of art seemed to focus on.
It took even longer before sports became a subject for
my paintings. For some arrogant reason, I thought that
baseball, hockey and other pleasant pastimes were lesser
subjects. Once my skill as an artist became more developed,
subjects for a painting, loss their identities as memorable
objects, and became just shapes with form, colour and
I am fortunate to have developed skill in various
media and techniques, with a willingness to undertake
numerous subject matter and styles. My "language"
is richer and more fluent because of this diversity.
My prejudices are minimized, and my desire to expand
as an artist is encouraged.
Although many works are created because of demand,
the desire to create works for the simple pleasure of
creation is forever present. This desire, rather, necessity
of spirit, leads to the creation of works that may not
be as easily marketable, but they are no less valuable,
and on most occasions, they "need" to be done.
A street kid never paid me for a painting, but they
gave me a reason to paint."
Life without art… is without life.
View a record of Joanne's
(in PDF format)