International. Contemporary. Art.
Joanna Blair (Born & Live: Melbourne, Australia)
Painting with a sensitivity that captures a moment in time, its atmosphere, energy, movement and mood using a range of techniques and use of colour – a self-confessed maverick who is self-taught – Joanna allows the work to take its own course through her imagination. With a preference for strong colour and thick paint, resulting in astonishing finishes that is garnishing an international audience.
Q & A
Where do you get your inspiration…?
I find inspiration sometimes in the most unexpected of places; for example, I was in Paris one evening when I saw the most fascinating and beautiful looking creature walking towards me. It was a woman who was wearing an extremely colorful, flamboyant long flowing coat and stylish hat – she caught my imagination and inspired me to paint “Madame Oiseau on her way to the Lido” – as I imagined her to be an exotic performer on her way to work at the night club The Lido. The ability to take photos instantly on my phone helps a lot to record things I see; I like to paint things which I find beautiful or that stir emotions in me – whether it’s a woman walking down the street or standing at the finish line experiencing the sound and power of a race horse in full speed and stretch. I also like to paint things with a serene feel to them as well.
How do you deal with artist’s block…?
I find the best antidote to this is firstly not try to ‘effort’ myself into painting something for the sake of painting it. I often have two to three paintings on the go at once; if I get stuck with one and am not sure of what to do next, or how to ‘fix it!’ – I’ll turn it around to the wall so I can’t see it, I may not look at it again for a couple of weeks (in the meantime I can keep working on something else) – I find when I do look at the painting again, I’m looking at it with fresh eyes and will instantly know what to do with it. I also have a lot of reference photos that I can peruse for ideas, and am always adding to them – I find that helps a lot with artists block too.
Most looking forward to this exhibition you are participating in…?
Tokyo International Art Fair is the next exhibition I am participating in. I’m really looking forward to this one as I participated last year and absolutely loved Tokyo. My experience of the art fair itself was fabulous – I sold half my work in the first hour of opening night and sold further works when I returned to Australia. The people I found lovely and thoroughly enjoyed my time both at the art fair and Tokyo itself.
What is your favourite pastime apart from painting or creating art…?
I love reading, I read as much as I can. Through this medium every part of your imagination is engaged; not only does it help expand my knowledge, it helps me relax and can inspire ideas on any manner of subjects – from things to paint through to a business idea or a different way of doing things. I love that a book can transport you to endless locations and periods in time, that I can get to know a famous person intimately – for example I had a small obsession with Winston Churchill for a while – it started because he was quite an accomplished painter, amongst all the other great things he achieved and I was fascinated by his life and what made him so different to others. Reading allows me into the times, places and minds of people like this and opens me up to a vast world I can’t experience otherwise in my everyday living.
Can you tell us what you have going on right now…?
I was recently at a race horse meeting and I like to stand at the rails when the horses are running past – the sound of their hooves, the sight of their muscles flexing under their gleaming coats and witnessing the beauty of an animal totally absorbed in doing what it loves – running flat out and not being held back. You can almost physically feel the power of them as they gallop past you; it is the same feeling when a fighter jet flies low overhead and the delayed sound of the jets engines goes right through your chest! So in light of that, I am painting an abstract of a race horse depicting its power, strength and beauty when it’s in full stretch and speed. It’s in oil, using a palette knife mostly to express its energy and velocity. I’ve almost finished it, it should be dry in time to bring it to Tokyo.
FACEBOOK: Joanna Blair Artist