photo by hamilton dixon

How I Came to Paint

I’ve always had an appreciation for art, but took to acting for artistic expression. This appreciation for art evolved into heading up a volunteer group at Shaw Elementary School (Beavercreek, Ohio), teaching artist appreciation in the classroom. To create the individual presentations, I studied each artist and their work carefully. I traveled to different museums to see certain paintings or exhibits. Finally, I found myself standing as close as possible to these works of art, staring at the brush stokes. It wasn’t long before I was sketching the masters and learning from their movements. I enrolled in an art class and started painting. All the while still acting, I found myself playing the daughter in ’Night, Mother, by Marsha Norman, a play where at the end my character commits suicide out of lonely desperation and frustration. In order not to let the play overtake me I had to have something, and that something was painting. It was painting that saved me and allowed me to disconnect from the play’s character. When my mother's health started to decline and she needed more caregiving I had to give up acting, and it was painting that became my main channel for expression.

I mostly paint oil on canvas, and flowers more often than not are the subject matter, fascinated by their temporal existence. The artists that inspire me most are Georgia O’Keeffe and Roy Lichtenstein – bold expanses of color and figurative paintings. These paintings are about color, about learning, and about seeking an expression of self. My hope is that it is this seeking and this learning is what has become visible. My wish is to share this beauty of redemption, this garden of flowers.

Copyright Joyce Genari 2010
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