Born and raised in Montreal, Joanne Hunt is an artist with deep Maritime roots, presently living in Nova Scotia. A contemporary realist, she creates both oil and watercolour paintings with a tonal softness and quiet atmosphere which has become her signature. With a passion for light and depth, Joanne's art investigates the subtle details and patterns found in nature and everyday subject matter. Each painting invites the viewer to simply take a moment to pause their busy day…to enjoy, and unwind. Primarily self-taught, Joanne has painted since she was a child, enjoying all forms of craft and art. She was elected to the prestigious Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour (CSPWC) in 2002, the Society of Canadian Artists (SCA) in 2005 and the International Guild of Realism (IGOR) in 2015. Joanne’s work has been featured in several calendars and fine art prints, as well as Nova Scotia’s Contemporary Artists, Vol. II by Dee Appleby in 2010. Her paintings have been juried and exhibited nationally in CSPWC Open Water on six occasions, and in venues including Halifax Government House, Public Archives, The Halifax Club, Saint John Arts Centre, John B. Aird Gallery (Toronto), Robert’s Gallery (Toronto), Etobicoke Civic Centre Art Gallery, Festival of the Sound (Parry Sound) and several private galleries. Joanne’s work has won numerous awards and continues to grow in favour with collectors across Canada, the US and abroad.
Joanne on her process of painting, using Tangled Garden as an example:
I start with exploring – I use my camera to capture many possibilities and then I search further within those shots to find what speaks to me.
In this case, I was interested in wildflowers, so I bought 2 large bunches at the Farmer’s Market and plunked them into a bucket of water as soon as I got home. I really do plunk them - with very little rearranging. I find the way they fall is natural and I want intuition to guide me in finding the final composition. I photograph them in many different areas in my house… observing different light and angles.
From all my shots (usually 20 to 50), I choose one (A), then I fine-tune, crop and often recolour until I achieve the design which is pleasing to me (B). Next, I print my shot and lightly sketch out the main shapes on a canvas and away I go… (C).
I especially love the 1st layer in oils. From out of the white background, shapes emerge and it starts to come together. There is no rule where I start, but I usually work left to right and join portions as I go (D and E). At this stage, my goals are to cover the canvas and be fairly accurate with colour and tonality, but I know those will improve with the second layer, so I can work fairly quickly and without too much fuss.
Once the 1st layer is done, it dries and then I proceed with a complete 2nd layer, slower, and with closer attention to details. This is when it really comes together and gives depth to everything. Now that the first layer is in place, I have so much to compare to and it’s much easier to balance and harmonize tones and colours. It continues to grow and grow...
My final 3rd layer is spotty. Only here and there where it needs a highlight, shadow or extra something. Sometimes it sits and looks at me for quite a while after the 2nd layer until I decide what it really needs (F).
I simply love the journey, process and atmosphere of painting…the end result and sharing are just the icing on the cake. I hope you enjoy! My best wishes to everyone to stay safe. I suggest in these particularly quiet times, get out those art supplies you've always wanted to try. You may find one of your greatest pleasures.
- Joanne Hunt, 2020
A - Wildflowers, original photo
B - Wildflowers photo, cropped and recoloured
C - Tangled Garden in progress 1
D - Tangled Garden in progress 2
E - Tangled Garden in progress 3
F - Wildflowers finished as Tangled Garden, oil on canvas, 24 x 48 in.
Established in 1976, Gallery 78 represents artworks of established and emerging Atlantic Canadian artists.
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