An Artist Interview with Joanne Hunt

Joanne Hunt CSPWC, SCA, IGOR, is a renowned professional artist living in Truro, Nova Scotia, A contemporary realist, she creates both oil and watercolour paintings with a tonal softness and quiet atmosphere which has become her signature. She is an elected member of the prestigious Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour (CSPWC, 2002), the Society of Canadian Artists (SCA, 2005) and the International Guild of Realism (IGOR, 2015). She has won numerous awards and continues to grow in favour with collectors across Canada, the US and abroad.

When did you start making art?

As soon as I could hold a crayon, I was drawing and colouring. Art has always been a natural and important part of my life and I couldn’t imagine a day without it. I’m very fortunate that I was encouraged and supported to create and grow as a self-taught artist.

Which artist inspired you the most?

Although born and brought up in Montreal, I spent every summer of my youth in Noel, NS, with my grandparents, Stan and Lelia Faulkner. Across the field, my great grandmother, Lilian Ettinger, was the artist in the family and I first learned oils from her. I marveled at her beautiful landscapes and together, we painted and sold little pieces at the Selma Hall during the tourist season. Since then, of course, I have met and been inspired by many other artists, but her influence and encouragement at my young age was very meaningful to me.

What’s your background?

I was trained as Graphic Designer and worked in that field for over 20 years. During that time, I believe the constant attention to design and composition helped to strengthen my painting skills, which I continued to do on the side until about 1995. It was then I started to concentrate less time to graphics and more to full-time painting.

What painting mediums and themes do you enjoy?

I started in oils as a child, and after college was introduced to watercolours, which captivated me for 17 years. A yearning to work larger and with thicker paint brought me back to oils about 10 years ago and I work mainly in oils now. I love the rich colours, thick texture and almost endless blending capabilities…it’s a pure joy.
At the moment, themes I am exploring include the natural abstract patterns in nature, expressed through florals, and also still life compositions, particularly in night-time settings.

What research do you do?

To capture florals in a garden setting, I frequently visit and observe many favourite locations during bloom season. Due to constantly changing light and weather, not to mention that some flowers (like peonies) may only last a few days in bloom, I photograph as much as possible on the spot. Later, I can take my time to choose, edit, sketch and paint in my studio. A typical floral may take 50 to 120 hours for me to complete.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am just finishing 10 new oil paintings for “A Walk in the Garden” – an upcoming floral solo show at Gallery 78 in Fredericton, NB. The exhibit features all white flowers… rhododendrons (from the Dalhousie Alumni Gardens), as well as peonies and hydrangea from my own garden and local beauties I find on my daily walks. The show opens May 27 and runs until June 19.

Where do you sell your work?

I have been represented by Gallery 78 in Fredericton for the past ten years and also frequently show and sell in group or competitive juried shows across Canada. I do selected commissions and show a collection of works on my web site www.joannehunt.com and www.Gallery78.com

*This was originally published in the Colchester Weekly News column “About Art” by Janice Guinan. Her About Art column appears each week in the Truro Daily News. Guinan also writes a weekly column for the Colchester Weekly News. Both can be viewed online at www.trurodaily.com. Contact her at janice@janiceguinan.com.

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