1.When did you first start painting?
I’ve always enjoyed painting and drawing since a very young age. After working various jobs, I enrolled in a year long interiors course which lead to a HND in Retail Design at the then London Institute of Print and Design. I’m mainly a self-taught painter and by way of a happy error, I discovered my style for the London and Paris paintings. Shortly after, a lady who curated exhibitions at a library in Loughton, viewed bits of my work that were intended for a group exhibition. She instead offered me an exhibition of my own! I sold the 2 buses Piccadilly original paintings on the opening night, and was so so thrilled I could barely speak!
2. A lot of your paintings feature Paris and France, why does the city and country inspire you?
Paris and France have always been an inspiration for me. I think it boils down to my natural love of art and architecture, but I also love the general spirit in France. The people stand up for what they believe in and don’t let important traditions die. On top of that, 15 or so years go my sister and I fell in love with a gorgeous little cottage in an arty commune near Limoges that we absolutely love. It’s a great base to visit not just France, but the rest of Europe from. We are very lucky!
3. A lot of your paintings also feature London, are you from there?
I’m from Waltham Abbey in Essex which is on the edge of London. I have always appreciated great cities like Paris and London and all they have to offer. My folks also love art and music and theatre shows and traipsed us around London at a young age.
4. Can you tell us a little more about your Bon Voyage painting?
It was originally meant to join the set of 5 London scenes that are on my London-based cushions. I love hot air-balloons; their slow pace, their history/romance and the perspective they give, so I thought it would be nice to tie it altogether like a journey along the Thames.
However, when Brexit started happening I started thinking about how this would all turn out. I was in England when the vote was cast and my feelings about Brexit were also mixed in with my emotions of a then recent break-up with a Frenchman. All this led to the Bon Voyage lettering, meaning I hope the journey goes well.
These kind of situations make you question what your nationality means to you and what to hold onto when your life is thrown up into the air. So I included Battersea power station, a telephone box for communication and the national flag colours.
5. How can we find out more about your artwork?
I’m on Facebook, Instagram and Esty! I also show my work in a lovely little bistro/café in a beautiful local village called Mortemart. As I said, it’s a very arty community which is just fabulous.
Etsy Shop – www.JBartprintsByJoanna.etsy.com
A note from My Life Living Abroad – I already own two of Joanna’s paintings and cannot wait to own more! Joanna is a lovely lady and a wonderful artist who’s passion for painting is clear.