Joanna Poulson is an Adelaide based artist who has been exhibiting regularly since 2005. She is graduate of the Adelaide Central School of Art, where she completed her Associate Degree in 2007. Joanna’s dedication and artwork has been recognised through commission prizes, grants and awards in South Australia.
In a recent interview Joanna provided an insight into her art practice, why she paints and what inspires her.
How do you describe your art practice today?
I’m a tonal realist painter working in oils on canvas/linen. I refer to my current theme as Blurry Botanicals. Before I even put paint to canvas there are many steps involved in my art practice. I work from photos that I’ve taken of plants and flowers which capture both the blurred colours in gardens and nature. I study the photos intensely before I land on a composition. I have to have an emotional reaction to the composition for the photo to be worthy of painting. It takes many hours and multiple layers of paint to complete one of my paintings, so it is a commitment I want to be sure of and feel a connection to before I even draw up the canvas. Most of the images I work from have an enhanced saturation of colour. I’m drawn to colour and in most instances bright colours which lift the mood of a space and the viewer who gets to experience my paintings.
What fascinates you about your choice of medium?
I love paint… especially oil paints!
I love that I can mix and makes colours. I know there is chemistry that makes it all possible but after years of painting and understanding colour mixing it’s become instinctual. I relate it to having learnt a new language. Having studied French and Italian and being able to write and speak these languages (although not as well as I would like) evokes a similar feeling when I mix colours without needing a ‘dictionary’ as such.
Then there is the application of paint to canvas with the brush. There are so many ways paint can be applied and I’m constantly refining the best way to apply the paint to achieve the outcome I want. There is always an opportunity to learn more when working with oil paint.
Oil paint is also extremely forgiving. Its slow drying properties and the ability to paint over ‘mistakes’ makes it a medium which I feel akin to.
What inspires you most and why?
Other artists, friends , family, nature and animals are all sources of inspiration and for varying reasons. At the crux of all inspiration is how they make me feel : supported, challenged, loved, appreciated, grateful, invigorated.
My current series of Blurry Botanicals is a response to the beauty and the colours we find ourselves surrounded by in nature. It is also provides for a wonderful source growth in my painting skills as it pushes me to further master the softened transitions of paint on canvas.