Portrait Of A Midlife Artist

Since this has been a week of highlighting gal pals, I thought
it would be only fitting to introduce you to a long time friend of mine.
Joan is an incredibly talented woman, smart as a whip and has always
been a friend you can count on.  When she is not painting 
or redecorating her home,  Joan and her husband Bruce love to travel, 
ride around in their convertible and visit their gorgeous grandchildren.

This is Joan's art table in her office/studio.  
Even when it's messy, it's neat ...
and some wonderful creations come from this space. 

Since we live in a city, studio space can be at a premium, so furniture 
and storage have to be compact, yet creative.  Joan has come up with 
some interesting solutions to this space problem.  Her table opens 
to 6 feet long or folds up to 12 inches.  The feet are on rollers 
so that it can be pulled to the middle of the room 
and she is able to accommodate a 
number of art projects at once.  

An old bathroom to the left was changed into a storage and 
clean up space with a sink.  Brilliant.

I love nosing around someone's storage area.
I am intrigued to see what kind of containers and
baskets are used to gather all the necessities of creation.
I wish I was this organized.
Joan uses IKEA as a great source for storage products. 

When she is not painting, Joan is an exceptional writer.  
For years she was an Investor Relations consultant for the 
international firm of Burson Marsteller.  That's where I met her 
28 years ago.  I was an executive search consultant and 
was recruiting Joan's replacement as General Manager of
the Ottawa office.  We became fast friends.  It is nice to have
good friends to grow old with.

When she isn't painting or writing, Joan is a home decor diva.  She is
a comrade-in-arms when it comes to moving furniture around the house.
"There's always a better way" is our mantra.  

I don't know how many times I have called upon her for 
some decorating advice. She understands balance, color
 and the technicalities of home design.

And this also reflects in her art.
  The two paintings over the sofa are Joan's. 

Her art is usually in a square format with lots of textural elements.
These two painting are collage and mix media with
the color field in a much softer palette.  

The old  French envelope of Madame Harland provokes
such questions as "Who is she?"  What message did the
envelope hold for Madame" 

Or was the Mozart sheet of music  part of the mystery
of this woman as well?  I love the vintage stamps and
postal marks through both pieces of art.
The colors .... yummy.

The larger canvas behind the dining table is also Joan's.  

Joan started painting about 10 years ago after recuperating from
major surgery.  She was looking for a new creative outlet and
found that art offered her additional avenues for her love
of color form and design.  Every couple of years, Joan attends
an art camp in British Columbia.  It is there she says that
she connects with "her tribe" of menopausal women
who are exploring their creative selves.  It offers a
lovely location by the sea, a talented teacher and a
"no pressure" environment.  It offers a great
creative sense of renewal.

Joan's home is like her art ... relaxed elegance.
She is drawn to light warm colors and those same hues 
carry through in her home, art and clothing.

Joan's idea home?

  1. Lots of light that bounces off her cream interior.....
  2. Large unadorned windows looking out over trees or water.... 
  3. A home that offers comfort, order and calm ...... 
  4. A comfortable place to sit with a good light to read a book ....
She has succeeded in all of the above.

Now, back to work Joan
and thank you for letting us drop by.

This was a pillow I designed several years ago
with Joan as my inspiration.  The name of
this woman is Joan and she is from the
series "The Garden Club."

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