Name: Jo Ellen Delcoure
Art Medium: Pastel, oil pastel, watercolor, acrylic
City/town: Mesa, Arizona
What do you like most about being a member of the Mesa Art League?: The critiques and artist demonstrations are very informative. I also enjoy getting to know other artists and their artwork.
What is the inspiration/motivation to create your artwork?: Georgia O’Keefe liked to make people stop and look at something, even if they were too busy. She achieved that by zooming in close to her subjects. Her influence can be seen in some of my paintings, especially ones of plants. I draw my inspiration from my surroundings, including plants, landscapes and people. Painting portraits caught my attention a few years ago when I started participating in a weekly portrait group. I had never painted portraits before, but was intrigued by the challenge of painting live models and learning to really “see” the details. My painting, “Saturday Morning at Dunkin,” is a pastel painting of a man I spotted while having coffee with friends. I loved the texture of his beard and the reflections in his glasses. Perhaps he will become the first in a series of Dunkin characters.
When/how did you start your creative process?: As the child of an artist, I was lucky to grow up surrounded by artwork and lots of opportunities to explore my creativity. My mother gave me tools to draw with from the time I was an infant. After earning a BFA degree in metalsmithing and ceramics, I had a metalsmithing studio, but have always continued to dabble in other areas as well. A few years before I retired as an elementary art teacher, my mother invited me to go on a watercolor-painting trip to Yellowstone National Park and that is when I really fell in love with painting. It was my mother’s last painting trip before she passed away. I felt like she was passing the painting torch to me. That is perhaps the best gift I have ever been given.
Give a description of the kind of artwork that you do: My paintings are usually representative, but might have an impressionistic twist. Sometimes they appear to be abstract when I zoom in to paint a small part of a plant or flower. I am drawn to nature, including people, plants or landscapes. They may be painted in a variety of media, including pastel, oil pastel, watercolor and acrylic, and sometimes I experiment with using more than one in the same painting. Color is very important. I enjoy mixing the color on my painting, rather than the palette. I like to use complementary colors or combinations of red, yellow and blue.
Describe your artistic vision and goals as an artist: My desire is to learn to see better, because we look at things all the time without actually seeing them. Looking closely helps me form a connection with my subjects and that is where the real magic begins.
To see more of this artist’s work visit: Adelante Healthcare, 1705 W. Main St., Mesa, during April and May; and Jo Ellen Delcoure Art on Facebook. For more information about the Mesa Art League, visit http://www.mesaartleague.com/