RAA&M National Juried Exhibition
Rockport Art Association & Museum
December 5 – December 31, 2020 Opening Reception Dec 5, 2PM
The inspiration behind this artwork is being in motion in the stillness of the pandemic. I've created my own world, exposing my inner most visions while drawing on my travels and time spent wandering hills and shores around the world. One such draw is the meandering drives I used to take to Rockport on MA-128 many years ago. It was the tip of Cape Ann where I picked up a brush and found my art voice. Its rugged beauty still captures my imagination and pulls me back a few times a year. Being a desert dweller now, I always hope for storms to advance across the sky and watch for the choppy white caps to mark the jagged shoreline like chalk on a child’s driveway. It is in those moments my sketchbook comes alive. I find beauty in the oddities - sharp cutting edges, frayed rope tucked between rocks on the shore, dark skies hued with nearly ugly green before a summer storm. There's always more underneath that peaks out every now and then and I enjoy capturing that in every painting. Curator and Director of Artists in Arizona, Lauren Edgar noted, "For us, Joan's paintings create a sense of freedom, as with each brushstroke, she liberates the landscape into abstraction, helping us open our minds to life’s possibilities. Ultimately, Joan Maureen Collins works are about space. Her space, outdoor space, and even our collective space. She doesn’t define it, she liberates it."
Camelback Gallery Featured Artist
"I paint primarily with acrylics on canvas, paper, and board – both small works and large pieces that you can almost walk into. I love to create abstract designs, but they are always grounded and inspired by natural and urban landscapes, and sometimes the human form. My painting is physical and messy. I paint a bit like a sculptor, moving, adding, and scraping paint around the canvas. I find that technique results in striking contours made of heavy, opaque color and texture against thin, filmy transparency. I also make many of my brushes for effect, using feathers, ropes, springs, wire, and other desert, beach, and urban findings. One of my favorite painting tools is a butcher knife I grabbed from the kitchen over 20 years ago." Joan
In Motion In Stillness
Curated by Artists in Arizona
As art lovers, you may be familiar with the term “Landscape” and quite likely with the term “Abstraction.” Whether you are partial to one or the other, this artist, Joan Maureen Collins, embraces both terms and styles of art with equal respect, passionately sharing the joy she has found in this diversity by creating highly energized “abstract landscape” paintings, in both large and small sizes.
There is no question that these abstracted landscapes are indeed made from impressions of the land. These paintings are landscapes, space-scapes and all inferences in between. They are, in fact, artist-scapes, reflective of places the artist has traveled to and re-created as painterly surfaces, as her brushstrokes navigate the memories captured by her mind and instilled in her soul. What’s left are the impressions of each destination - a moment, an interaction, a particular picture. These personal voyages come back to life in abstract form, with majestic interpretations of the beauty that she initially discovered...
Joan Collins & Elaine Kessler
In an era more uncertain than ever, two US born artist-activists, from wildly distinct walks of life, engage in an intimate dialogue that takes them across continents, oceans, and time. With one artist wielding a lens and the other a brush, Elaine Kessler and Joan Collins delve into a conversation elaborated upon with color, motion, and light. The initial “push” is a photograph to which an abstract painting will respond and, to and fro, the artists’ conversation will ensue. Swaying to the beat of their unique perspectives, the exhibit will present the expressions of their dialectic, in some respects, many years in the making. In an interactive twist, the artists will invite the audience to SWING with them to produce a culminating multi-media art piece. Due to COVID-19 the exhibit will debut in 2021. Artwork will be revealed at Show Opening, but here is the first image the dialogue began with by Elaine Kessler
Fall 2019-Spring 2020
In a fusion of visual art and music, Joan is an Artist-in-Residence for Helios, a unique vocal ensemble in Phoenix, Arizona whose aim is to illuminate early music with contemporary insight. Five years ago, Executive Director of Helios, Kenny Miller, had an open call for art to celebrate Da Vinci in music and visual art. Joan responded with a piece of art painted for the event, and named it "Da Vinci’s Whisper." Although an abstract piece, two cornerstone elements of the piece include a radiating sun sparkling with gold leaf in tribute to the origin of Helios and its greek, mythological god, personified as the sun. The second element in the work, she used a feather to paint a breath of transparent color, representing the beautiful Helios singers whispering Da Vinci’s genius in the concert.
Celebrating its 5th Anniversary, Miller and singers invited Joan to license this piece for use in the promotion of it’s anniversary. Joan has made available a limited edition run of thirty Da Vinci’s Whisper giclees, signed, numbered and marked with gold leaf.
Public Works for Humanities in Medicine
Fall 2019-Winter 2020
Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
My painting is physical and messy. I tend to paint like a sculptor, moving, adding, and scraping paint around the canvas. This technique results in contours that I seek, made of heavy, opaque color and texture against thin, filmy transparency. I make many of my own brushes for effect, using feathers, ropes, springs, wire, and other desert, beach and urban findings. When people ask about my creative process, I tell them it’s like jumping off a cliff into an abyss, then floating in the adrenaline of the experience. My aim is to capture modern impressions of nature - majestic mountains, sweeping skies, the ever-healing sea and primitive landscapes. All around us is a compelling spirit of nature mixed with culture that dots the landscape of our lives. I try to grab this energy and infuse it into my work. People always ask me, when do you know you are done? It’s like the concept of kiki umami, you can’t really explain it, it just feels warm and good and you know it’s right. Whatever it is that brings you to this moment, I hope that these pieces make you feel, if only for just a minute, it’s all right.
Urban Ethos is inspired by a move I made last year. I took a leap from a little rural haven at the foot of Black Mountain and landed in an urban loft.
I wasn’t sure how the shift would affect my art. For 16 years, nature was my muse. Then I felt a flicker of inspiration. It was the whir of a red helicopter’s blade casting long shadows as it landed on a rooftop across the street. This is captured in “Whirred in the Misty Air.” After that, acrylics have flowed onto the canvas right up to this show.
“Unsurfaced City” is the cornerstone of the collection. The very large 48x72 piece was the first one I painted after moving. It captures a new urban vibe anchored by left-behind, natural elements in the center.
My eyes can’t keep up with the visual shifts of this dynamic environment. It’s thrilling as an artist. The pixels in the frame change constantly. You might see this change in a new and expansive color palette. I’ve also incorporated angled planes, springs and loops like wire and metal fittings, and blocks of cascading industrial rooftops into my new work. I’ve dropped in hints of florescent green, orange, and blue paint strokes that dangle like the cranes sculpting my new neighborhood. I enjoyed reimagining exposed siding on a building construction site in blocks of vibrant hues of violet, blue and red.
Living on a top floor, the sky has become ever present in my daily life. Watching it shift and change throughout the day could be an entire collection on it’s own. So a few of these are in this series. I found myself sneaking away from the hard lines of this series and creating soft, visual respites. I was inspired by city gardens and waterfronts I’ve found moments of peace visiting. These references are from Portland to NYC, Galway to Paris, and Florence to Istanbul. I also painted the rain. I wanted to represent how the rain washes away the dust grime of a city.
Lastly, sometimes you need more than imagery to tell your story. I ended this run with a collection of small vignettes that include phrases that capture the essence of my transition.