JoAnne Huntgate is an established artist working in various water media, acrylic, construction, miniature art, portrait and pet commissions. She has enjoyed both the creation of fine art and the experience viewers have with that art. Paintings range from miniatures to large size, impressionistic, often expressionistic and abstract featuring movement.
Art for JoAnne began in her early years when a baby sitter provided paper, colored pencils and encouragement. Living on a farm instilled JoAnne with a love of animals and feel for nature so that as teachers and classmates saw her talent, she was asked to create all the artwork, illustration, a poster or brochure for her school. Her work has experienced many changes as her artistic life has evolved, continues to evolve yet a colorful natural world is constantly visible. An artist’s work is never truly finished, only stopped in a single piece. Art is what artists do. JoAnne is no different.
An invigorating dramatic change in her work came when she encountering the monotyping process at DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA. The unexpected that occurs in a monotype print was truly exciting. Her work shifted from realistic to expressionistic. Just as a monotype result is not totally planned, neither was her shift of interest. As part of this monotyping experience she was a key founding member of Partners in Printmaking there at DeCordova. Many techniques she developed with watercolor monotypes and now teaches are now used by others. Much of the work in this period featured movement, of fish and water movement, women in dance form, Native American dance form, all stylized and expressionistic.
By having ten of her works juried into shows at the Copley Society of Boston JoAnne became a Copley Artist and later served as the artist representative on the Copley Society’s Board of Directors for many years. She was represented in galleries in Boston, Cambridge, Wellesley, and Nantucket and was an active participant in many art organizations.
In the mid-80s her work took another turn as the visual experience of two new places was felt. Sedona, Arizona, with red rocks, Hopi and Navajo people and landscapes moved her to large works and exploration of sky. Concurrently Washington, DC, and small working space introduced miniatures to her expression. These works have won several awards and have been juried into over 30 international miniature exhibitions. Her pleasure in capturing the personality of pets and of people in a miniature form led to many commissions.
While workshops in New England had added variation to her work, a greater change came from Santa Fe and Giverny, France. A Carol Meyer workshop in Santa Fe introduced a different structuring to many works that have proven to have great popularity. Study with Gale Bennett at Art Giverny and the opportunity to paint in Monet’s Garden provided dramatic layers to her artistry. The combination of Gale’s colorist methods and such inspiring surroundings brought new subject matter and methods with a continued strong sense of the natural world.
When she moved to Tucson she donated over 100 of her works to the ART Connection in Boston which have largely now been selected by non-profits for display in their offices and public areas. A characteristic of letters of appreciation is their awareness of the peaceful and cheerful feeling her work imparts to their surroundings, and to clients and patients. In Tucson, place of large sky, desert fascination and fantastic sunsets, the sky is back to a central focus common in finished works. In the images that evolve on the canvas, expressionism begins to border on abstract; the saguaro forces itself, along with other cactus forms into what she creates. Constructions of found material, artistically altered by the desert, take new forms on panels.
In her words, “My work in all these various expressions strives to project inner feeling for the viewer. I am not content to simply find a form of expression that others like and continue that form. I exhaust what I see in a subject and move to another. So my art moves, portraying a shifting, not static scene. That for me is my success, my growth in art. My artwork depicts my impressions and interpretations of moods and rhythms offering visions, fusions of movement, color, and innovation.”