Artist Q&A with Joyce Pommer
Joyce’s paintings evolve out of her subconscious in a free flowing intuitive process. They do not start with a preconceived idea or plan; the art is her reflection. The work she creates makes people feel good, and instills positive emotions and harmony. The work frees the mind and spirit. Inspired by the early Abstract Expressionists, the artist seeks the emotion and spirit of the painting by way of the unconscious and spiritual.
Who is your favorite artist of all time?
Giorgio Morandi. His transformation of simple objects into beautiful imagery are affecting. The contrast of strong to fragile, and still life to abstract, have always spoken to me from the time I discovered his work. Serene and quiet with subtle use of color, his play on positive & negative space are powerful.
How did you become a professional artist?
I attended art school in San Francisco and Boston, but when I moved to NYC I concentrated on having a studio and persisted in exhibiting my work wherever I could. Although I had another job (as a nurse) for many years, I had the flexibility and financial support to continue on this journey, always maintaining a studio and becoming more selective with exhibitions, and eventually becoming a full time artist.
What are the influences and inspirations in your work?
My inspiration is in the process and use of diverse materials. I am always in search of different textures and how I can put them all together to make the connections coexist especially when alien to one another. My work has a spontaneous and intuitive start, but I always love the element of surprise that happens when working. There are many references to the natural elements in the pieces so I would say I am also strongly influenced by nature. Color has always been an influence from the start as my earlier works were strongly focused on it, now there is more influence from the textures yet still combined with color. I had a studio in the Garment District in Manhattan for many years and was very much influenced by the fabric textures I found there.
How is your work different than everything else out there?
In the way I combine the different materials I use to make them relate within the surface. The imagery combinations are unique not the usual ones and I look for ways to make this work. Viewers must connect with it on an emotional level and want to enter the conservation. They are not just about a quick look and moving on; the pieces are significant and more complex.
When is a piece finished for you?
Just when it feels right by all the colors, materials, and shapes coming together. Whatever I include in the painting now has its place on the surface and has a connection to everything else. All things move around the space well and are in a harmonious dance and I can do no more to improve it. Since my work is mostly intuitive, the feeling is the strongest component.
What’s different about your current body of work?
I have been including a number of different handmade papyrus vegetable papers collaging them onto the canvas. They have a wonderful transparency and all kinds of textures making combinations endless. There is apple, tomato, onion, asparagus, and cucumber that all come with their own unique presence for me to play with. I am planning on incorporating embroidery next into the pieces and see where that might take me as sewing into the surface seems intriguing. The past year or two has been focused on smaller works and though continuing with these I am also getting back to larger works now.
What would you like collectors and curators to know about your work?
That my work makes people feel good, and it brings joy and energy. It also invites a conversation for viewers as the works are mostly abstract yet there is always a vision and an emotional connection in there once they spend time with the pieces. The use of diverse materials and how they are connected makes for interesting viewing and contemplation. I love texture and am always searching for different ones and ways to use them in the pieces.
Tell us about a few of your career highlights or moments that have greatly affected your career?
Many years ago when I still lived in Boston I flew into NYC every Saturday for a painting class at the Art Students League. My teacher Jack Stevens would totally trash my work week after week, and I learned more from him than most of my other art teachers. He became an influence in persistence besides in painting and I have always valued his support and direction.
In 2008 I had a solo exhibition at the Southwest Minnesota State University Art Museum that was organized by a curator/artist that was quite nice. This led to the museum purchasing 3 pieces from the show for their collection. Recently my work has been curated and promoted by the online site rtistiq.com that led to the cover and an article in Art Herald magazine in Singapore.
What’s coming up for you?
I have a few shows coming up including Arnold Grummer’s Paper on the River exhibit in Wisconsin in October, The Other Art Fair Virtual Exhibition in November, and Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden Holiday Art Fair in November-December. I also have a feature article and cover coming up in the Singapore-based Art Herald Magazine.
What advice would you give to an artist just starting out today?
Stick with what you love to create and feels right for you; forget any trends or trying to please others because that will change. Be persistent in getting your work out there and be open to alternative ideas and venues. There are many opportunities out there on different levels and venues with global expansion. Develop that thick skin early on as you will need it to keep on after all those rejections and criticisms. Learn the business side of managing your career as it is essential to keep you going. Always keep looking at other artist works past and present for inspiration, ideas, and support.
Who are some of your favorite under appreciated artists that you don’t think get enough attention?
Edward Evans, Sharon Florin, Dorothy Cochran, and Dianne Martin.
To learn more about Joyce and her work, please visit www.JoycePommer.com.