Joanne Tepper’s still life paintings remind us that we don’t need to go farther than the farmer’s market or backyard garden to find extraordinary beauty. There is visual enchantment and charm enough, to be found in a backlit rose petal or dark red plum. Joanne approaches those special objects with curiosity and delight. Details matter! If it takes ten layers of paint to capture a certain nuance of light or texture, she is willing to do that and her patience pays off. In Joanne’s hands a fig isn’t just a fig,… a fruit to be eaten and forgotten. We see it in a different way. Joanne has paid special attention and, looking at her work, we are encouraged to pay attention too. We see the magic there!
When possible, Joanne enjoys setting-up a still life in her studio or, at other times, photographing subjects at her home or, while walking about town. She plays with various ideas for a composition, sometimes adding a backdrop of clouds, or a landscape real or abstract, until a very personal vision emerges. An artist’s wood panel or canvas is prepared with many layers of gesso and then sanded to the very smooth surface her detail work requires. Joanne makes an initial drawing, and then begins the labor intensive process of applying layer upon layer of oil or acrylic paint to achieve her trademark, a glowing jewel-like surface.
Are there easier, faster ways to paint? Yes, definitely. Joanne, however, finds great personal meaning in exquisite craftsmanship. It’s important to her to know that she has made her best effort with each and every painting, large or small. She refuses to take short cuts. It is a difference, we can see in her paintings.
Joanne has honed her craft over the course of her lifetime. As a small child, she drew portraits of her family members, whenever she could get them to hold still. She went on to earn a B.A. in Fine Art from U.C.L.A., and continued to refine her techniques in workshops with such well known artists as: Gary Pruner, Jim Estey, Gary Akers, and Arnie Westerman.
Her work has been recognized both regionally and nationally in many juried shows, garnering many ’Best of Show’ awards from professional art judges, and ‘Peoples Choice’ awards from the viewing public. Highlights of these include being accepted by New York City’s International Exhibition of the American Watercolor Association, (alongside a work of one of her favorite artists, Andrew Wyeth), and to show twice, in the prestigious Crocker Kingsley Exhibition at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California.