Mi Casa, Su Casa | Chomp | Testosterone Tasks | Vim & Vigor | Gear | Refer-A-Friend
Check out the new book! | Porch Talk | Cash Money | Emil Post | Show Off

more showoff
» HeadBlade
» One Funny Guy
» Bad-Ass Burlesque
» Finding Yurika
» go with the flow

» show off archives

Torn Free
by Lora Hart

Inspiration | Motivation

Inspiration can come from anywhere. Stains on the sidewalk, a line of poetry, a face glimpsed out of the corner of your eye. Mixed media artist Joan Tucker finds inspiration in travel and transforms her impressions into paintings that invite the viewer to take a journey with her. “I am primarily interested in layers of information. What lies beneath the surface of what we see”.

Joan first started exploring canvas and paint about six years ago after fate put a flyer advertising a local art school into her hands. But she wasn’t always in touch with her creative side. There are no early memories of crayons and finger painting, no freeform ceramic dinosaurs occupy a place of honour in her parents home. “It never occured to me to pick up a brush ar attempt anything of my own” says Joan. “I never thought I could do it. I always thought artists were born”. And yet teenage trips to the local museum, a college minor in art history and subliminal influence from various artistically adept boyfriends planted a seed that waited for just the right time to bloom.

Beginning the way many artists do - Joan painted simple still lifes and copies of the Impressionists. Then one day her teacher asked the class to create something, tear it up and re-assemble it in a different way. The other students freaked. They deliberated and consulted, photo copied and attempted dry runs. None of them wanted to destroy their master pieces. But Miss Joan tore into it. She was liberated. The tecnique “freed up the notion that the painting is so precious and holy. It’s just raw material to push around until it’s where you want it to be”.

To enhance her acrylic canvases Joan rescues scraps from the wastebin, buys Chinese paper ephemera and utilizes tissue thin pages of old books. She scotch tapes images to a drying canvas and lives with them for a while - peels them off to start again or leaves them where they’ve stuck and moves on to the next element. She puts herself in a kind of trance and imagines her brave, new world. “I love slipping down the ‘rabbit hole’ - [I] start a piece, listen to some music and the next thing I know hours have gone by. It’s energizing and thrilling and it’s something that only I did. It’s all mine”.

That first free art class, a serendipitous way out of the doldrums has taken Joan Tucker to a passionate place that she never before knew existed. She’s enjoyed more than a half dozen shows in and around Los Angeles, one in Boulder, Colorado and is looking forward to an upcoming event in Atlanta, Georgia.

next >