Abstract. Natural. Organic.
See the work of Joy Every, our Featured Artist of April 2018.
For mixed media artist Joy Every, each piece begins with a photographic snapshot. As the artist plays with concepts of time and memory, an image emerges, an idealized or metaphorical version of the landscape and its elements. The resulting work of art is an enigmatic, visual story that reveals itself upon interaction with the viewer. This story metamorphosizes based on the memories and feelings it evokes in each person to interact with it, creating a unique experience for every set of eyes.
Ever had an incredible breakthrough-moment during your creative process?
Most recently I was playing around with watercolors which are not my usual medium and discovered I could paint on my photographs with them. It's interesting how the black in a photo repels the color while white absorbs it. This has afforded me a new way of working.
What pushes you forward when you're feeling stuck in your artistic practice?
I try to draw, get into nature and look at art books every day. This fuels my creative brain even when I'm not sure what is next in my work. Some days I'll just start doodling or putting paint to paper and next thing you know I have a new piece going. I also find in my collage process that when I don't know what to do next with a piece and it feels unfinished, that I just start taking pieces of photos and tape them on the work. I then move the pieces around or remove them and inevitably I find a solution to my artistic conundrum.
"I found that rather than trying to reproduce the world in a representational style that I was much more attracted to shapes, textures, patterns and colors.
I fell in love with the American Modernists like Arthur Dove and Marsden Hartley who made it okay for me to find my own way into abstraction."
What made your choose your primary medium? Best and worst parts of working in that medium?
I used to enjoy working on large paintings with buttery oils and carving line work into the thick paint or wax, but I've developed a chemical sensitivity and unfortunately cannot use such environmentally toxic substances. I tried to recreate my process using acrylics and discovered benefits with a more quick drying medium and their ability to stick to photographs. I've always been a photographer as well as a painter and to be able to marry those two disciplines has been exciting to me. Watercolor doesn't have the thickness and texture of acrylic paint but produces a more ethereal, watery feel which I'm liking at the moment.
What got you interested in the arts? When did you start creating?
've been making art my whole life. My favorite classes in school were always art and I have a Mother who was great at finding outside classes for me as well. I was very lucky in my high school that they had an actual Art Department. I took classes in oil painting, pastel, watercolor, design and jewelry making (which was NOT my forte). My lovely art teacher, Mr. Bahmerman, had a long white beard and sometimes wore a beret. He was the epitome of an old school art professional and taught me to experience the world like an artist.