I started following Jo on Twitter in 2009 :-) Her images and technique are stunning!
Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self taught?
I have always loved drawing, but I did not work with it consistently until the early 90's.
It began then as so many things do, with a simple watercolor class one morning a week at an old school building. It grew quickly from there to a real love for the medium of watercolor. Since that first watercolor class, I have worked with watercolor, and taken numerous workshops internationally in France, Holland, and Bermuda, as well as up and down the East Coast of the U.S. I have taken drawing & painting classes at Anne Arundel Community College, in The Maryland Hall School of Arts, The Casements in Florida, & various other institutions. The classes I have taken have always been just a day or so, or week long workshops, and a few drawing classes that were a few months long, so I’m a mix of self-taught and everything I’ve learned from the various workshops and classes I took along the way. I never went to “Art School”.
What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from various places. Some of my inspiration comes from my own wide collection of photos. Sometimes a trip to Blue Springs where the Manatees live in winter, or a trip to the zoo, or beach will fill me with inspiration. Occasionally I’ll see a face that draws me in, a face with strong lines. Mainly I paint animals because I love them, and they make me happy. I can paint almost any subject matter in my “Whimzicals” style though, such as buildings, people, faces etc. I like to find things that have a shape that appeals to me. Inspiration comes in many shapes. :)
Do you work in just one medium? Several?
I work mainly in watercolor as it is by far and away my favorite medium. I love it’s translucency, the beauty of the colors and they way they blend and mix together during a painting. They are almost jewel-like when they are still wet. The other mediums that I enjoy are pencil, colored pencil, and pen & ink.
What are you working on now?
Currently I am working with a copper company overseas, and together we have created a line of “Whimzicals” copper jewelry. It took us about 6 months of working together to get the designs sized so that they would fit on the small space of an earring, necklace or bracelet, and still remain recognizable. They can be found at the link at the bottom of this interview. Also at this time of year, my mind turns toward the holiday season, and I will paint a few holiday animals....and lastly I am always painting something, so the paint and paper call to me everyday, simply because I love watching the colors emerge on the paper.
Anything else you want to tell everyone?
I consider my technique loose, which to me, means I prefer not to paint everything I see, but to give a loose interpretation. I also love design and shapes. I think I have a feel for design, rhythm and balance. I love making shapes, thus the “Whimzicals”(tm) were born. Prior to 2006, when I began thinking in design and shapes, I was a traditional plein air painter, painting on location wherever I was. A sample of my art prior to the Whimzicals style can be seen on my website, under the Galleries page. I also enjoy working digitally with my work, and I’ve learned how to separate each design from any background it may have, thus I am able to create a variety of uses for a single design.
Are you an early riser? or night owl?
Early .... I work best from early morning until mid to late afternoon. After that, it’s all downhill other than working on the computer.
What is your favorite food?
Without a doubt, Ice cream anytime and always.
Main website: http://whimzicals.com
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