Art critic David Betz best describes Joan's work as "sensual organic abstract painting." Her iconography (content) reflects a deep connection with nature and an ongoing desire to depict the underlying design of natural objects. In an ongoing painting series, "Earth Objects, " she expresses these ideas."
"Earth Objects" explore organic found objects, twigs, leaves, and pods that she gathers along local hiking trails. Objects" collected are photographed and digitized in a software program called Photoshop. She describes her process as:
"Using a series of filters, I remove the object's "outer skin," revealing its "skeleton," denoting a tree without the leaves. Next, I carve a projected image of the "skeleton" into the wet canvas (painter's primer) with the butt of a paintbrush creating exquisite surfaces. Next, tiny layers of paint are brushed delicately over the beveled edges to unearth the skeletal impression of the sculptural object. Next, many successive layers of color are scrubbed into the surface resulting in the look of a natural process, like wind and water erosion or soil stratification. Eventually, a picture emerges from the surface. T e process is similar to an archaeologist brushing away thin layers of dirt to reveal skeletal remains. I named this process "image archaeology™." And defines it as follows:
im-age ar´chae-ol´o-gy™, [im-ij] [ahr-kee-ol-uh-jee], n. 1. The systematic recovery by artistic methods of imagery within the ground of a painting. 2. A dig into the surface ground with the butt of a paintbrush to imprint an image. 3. The space between the figure and the ground emerges a skeletal impression of an image. 4. A constant searching for the middle ground through applying paint and projected thought culminates into works of art.
There is a constant searching for the middle ground—the space between the figure and ground—through the application of paint and projected thoughts.
What remains and merges into existence is an energy exchange between me and the picture plane that culminates into a work of art.