Prints of Joan's work can be purchased at Fine Art America

Joan Columbus portrait artist

Agnes Olive asked me to answer two questions:

The first was: Where do creative ideas come from?

Well, for me, they come from the magic black ball of my childhood, which you would ask a question, shake, and a weird white thing would rise to the surface and say ”Ask me again later” or “Yes, certainly” and so forth. It works just like that. I put in a question, desire, goal and in time I get an answer. Sometimes it is only a minute or so, and sometimes it takes months. The important thing is to believe in the process.

The second question was “What makes me work?”

Often, there is an idea of how something will look if I do it, and that image keeps coming up in my mind pestering me until I actualize it. Whatever it is, it creates an impatience within me to get it done. To get it to shut up.

When I was a child I was asthmatic, and therefore drawing was something I could do sitting still. As I matured people assumed that I would be an artist. I, however, was afraid of the solitude necessary to really focus on my self and my painting, and thought that it would be impossible to be a painter AND to have children. I chose to have children, and to allow myself to develop as a painter after they were grown.

During my twenties I did a few commissioned portraits. In my thirties I worked with children in a studio for Creative Arts therapies, which I opened in New York after receiving my Masters in Creativity Development from Pratt. In my forties I designed and built one of a kind pieces of furniture with my husband, and in my fifties I allowed myself to paint again – but only portraits, or still lives, because I could sell them. It wasn’t until my early sixties that I started painting what called to me and exploring how to describe what I wanted to say. I am now enjoying the freedom to please no one but myself. That has been a hard thing for me to learn.

I have found that the creative process is something that I have used in every area of my life, for living. That it is only the materials that change.

I was born Joan Doscher and raised in Riverside, Connecticut. I'm currently a figurative painter in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.

I studied illustration and furniture design at Parson's School of Design, and I received a Masters in Creativity Development at Pratt Institute. I studied painting with Lisa Specht in Goshen, New York and at the Instituto de San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. I studied sculpture with Lou Trekas in Mallorca, Spain and with José de Creeft at the Art Student's League in New York.

My paintings hang in private collections in the United States, England, Italy, Germany, Mexico, and the Bahamas.


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