Joan likes to paint places where she would like to be. Realism. She imagines she is in the places she paints. She loves boats and the water and Tudor cottages.
Originally from Weston-super-Mare, Joan left aged twenty-two, married a serviceman and traveled around before settling in Gloucestershire for twenty five years. She was a Councillor in Churchdown for eighteen years before moving back to Weston fourteen years ago and immediately taking a job as a Town Councillor for four years. She was Mayoress of Weston-super-Mare three years ago and has done voluntary work including some time in the Birnbeck Pier Regeneration Trust shop. She is a Friend of the Old Pier Society and has a fondness for the pier and its history. She loves the water, boats, Tudor cottages; and to paint them. She started painting at an art class with Terry Pegg three years ago at Daunceys Hotel. A friend suggested she visit him at his studio in Cheddar knowing of her love of art, and within minutes of talking with him she had signed up for the classes, thinking she would only go for six weeks but stayed on until he had to finish. She says it was the best thing she had ever done and has continued prolifically and progressively on her own since.
The Victorian and Edwardian periods inspire her for their style and dress, and the paintings of Constable, Monet and Stubbs. Also Turner for the drama he brings to his paintings and how he makes any sea he paints come alive; and Jack Vettriano, especially his beach scenes.
She makes sketches on paper of ideas for paintings and then also sketches out final compositions in pencil on canvas prior to painting, often rubbing out and re-drawing several times. The preparatory drawing; getting the perspective, positioning and sizes of things can take longer than the actual painting. When she is working she finds five hours or so can go by just like that. A commission for a painting of a Punch and Judy show on Weston beach took days to get right but was worth it because the buyer was delighted. Her paintings of the desert were suggested by her son which she is pleased with because of the bright colours. One of the camels is having a rest because he is tired. She finds sea, sky and hills easy to paint and puts in people, boats etc to fill the space; intuitively knowing where to place things.
Ideas come from friends, photographs she has taken or in books, or from the internet. For her paintings of the galleons, she searched for images, chose ones she liked and then made the paintings from memory of the images. Sometimes she will go back to check the image, but mostly just keeps it in her mind. She wouldn’t make a painting of the SS Great Britain without its sails – the beauty of the sails make the picture for her. She says you’ve got to get the colours right when painting somewhere well known, but her painting of the bakery for instance is all her own idea so she says can use the colours she likes. It is challenging to mix the right tones of grey or to find suitable skin tones against sand for example. Sometimes she will go back and paint over something which doesn’t look right. Painting requires a lot of patience and she can understand why some people might give up, but she likes to persevere and gets great enjoyment when she knows the painting is going well.