JoAnn Moy – Schwenksville, PA
Painter JoAnn Moy works in oils, acrylic, and collage while simultaneously pursuing her career as an independant graphic designer. Born to young parents in western Pennsylvania, JoAnn’s favorite childhood memory is of fingerpainting with her sister. Her parents split up early and she never knew her father, beside the fact that he was creative.
JoAnn’s mother too, has her own artistic bend and taught her the importance of precision and quality in crafting. She wanted the girls, JoAnn and her sister, to experience more of life than the countryside of Zelinople had to offer and the little family moved to a town just outside of Pittsburgh.
Growing up, JoAnn continually sought out a variety of artistic endeavors like sculpting with clay, designing jewelry, sketching and painting. Her visual development grew further with her involvement in her high school theatre’s stage crew as costume and makeup designer. In college, she established a foundation of color theory, spatial and shape proportion and reveled in a new found passion exploring 3-dimensional drawing with wire. She graduated from Philadelphia’s Drexel University in 1995 with a BS in Graphic Design. While in Philadelphia she loved the city and the variety of people surrounding her, people from all over the world.
After graduating she stayed in the city, working for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Among other things, she was responsible for hanging labels next to the paintings. With this opportunity to spend time in the galleries, empty of their crowds, JoAnn was enamored by the history and talent around her, and tried to soak it all up. Around this time she also had some of her own paintings in a few cafés in Philadelphia and Manyunk, PA, but unfortunately didn’t keep any records.
After leaving the museum, she worked as an art director for a few different pharmaceutical advertising and medical education companies, but eventually realized how far she’d veered from her passion for fine art. JoAnn found herself depressed and full of anxiety. Finding control of these mental diversions became apparent when she gave herself over to her creativity and got back to painting again.
In 2016, she again hung her art publicly at Green Wolf’s Village Barn and also Schang-Hai Gallery, both of Skippack, PA. JoAnn hopes that viewers of her art can recognize and absorb some of the peace and happiness she found in making it. She currently lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and 2 incredible kids.
BREAKING IT DOWN
People ask how long I’ve been an artist. I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t an artist, so the answer must be all my life. I love the complexity of shadow and highlight layered together to compose a face, an object, or a scene. I break down the components like puzzle pieces, forgetting what I know I see and deconstructing it into fragmented color, sometimes with hard edges, sometimes blending into one another. Conversely, I also love the simplicity that flat color and simple lines can combine to demonstrate vast emotion. Various weights and tones can hold texture as well as inspiration and sensitivity.
I think of objects in terms of their form; breaking elements down into fields of color, subtle gradients and contrasting shades. I seek to explore edges and the shadows they can create.
BUILDING IT UP
I build up tactile layers of paint gradually, while building up visual layers between foreground and background. I form my subject on the canvas using thin layers of paint, trying to be aware of the entire canvas at once, keeping in mind that one thing’s configuration affects another’s shape and shadows. The process has to be amorphic in that there is no one single path. As the piece grows with each level the image become more intelligible. In the final layers, I like to get messy, splashing paint and smearing with a palette knife. My goal is not to be photographic, but rather impressionistic.
For many years my focus was on portraits, still life and landscapes, keeping some kind of bond with reality I thought. I continue to explore nature in my work, but have also branched out into a new realm for me, what I like to call Abstract Humanity. My depictions of personal interaction live in environments not recognizable from our world, but from a place unique to varying perceptions or consciousness. In striving to provide a visual for emotions, often chasing circles and swirls across my canvas, I’ve noticed that I’m trying to once again find my true self, find the center.
My intention is to open a visual communication between myself and you, the viewer; I want to keep you engaged and your imagination active. Ultimately my wish is for you to become a collaborator in my work as your ideas about my art develop and grow.