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Art & Life with JoAnne Chittick

Today we’d like to introduce you to JoAnne Chittick.

JoAnne, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
Making art (and doing handwork, thanks to my Norwegian heritage) has always been an essential part of my life. In high school, I took courses at the Cleveland Museum of Art, in college, I studied woodblock printing with Leonard Baskin, and since moving to Cohasset in 1971, I have taken classes and been involved in the South Shore Art Center, North River Arts Society, the Duxbury Art Association, and have traveled to Maine to paint glorious coastal scenery. My initial work with watercolor paints took a turn when a dear artist friend died and left me her oil paints. So, I have been switching back and forth between these two media for many years, painting — in either watercolor or oil, landscapes, and buildings, as well as still life. I paint large and small, my style is graphic and colorful, and I convey my own sense of a subject through suggestion and impression as well as careful rendering.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Painting architecture has brought me to a specialty: watercolor house portraits. I work from my own photos (or really good, detailed ones) or on site when possible, capturing the character and details of the building and its surroundings. Each piece is unique and special to the homeowner, and many pets have made their way into portraits. Getting beloved animals to look just right can be very tricky! A house portrait is a great way to express the feeling of a much-loved home, and my hope is to make a painting that will be a touchstone that evokes many happy memories. I also paint “wedding paintings” — the scene of the ceremony, reception or occasionally the bride and groom taking vows.

I am always on the lookout for subjects that speak to me. The local beach, water views, and boats in the harbor are favorites — inspiring and always changing.

Last winter, I became intrigued by the shapes and personality of large earth movers and diggers; I painted a series of these beasts, with their dramatic claws and scoops. I also paint special buildings, such as an iconic hall or tower on the recipient’s college campus, and “wedding paintings,” — the scene of the ceremony, reception, or occasionally the bride and groom taking vows.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
To me, a successful painting is one that tells the story I was aiming at: to catch the light on a landscape or a building in a particular way, to combine shapes, values, and colors so that they interpret and express — in my own way, a particular reality. I want my work to have its own energy and style.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My work can be seen on my website: www.joannechittick.com.
Also, at the Copley Society of Art on Newbury Street, in New England Watercolor Society shows (I’m a Signature Member), in exhibitions at the South Shore Art Center (a Gallery Artist), the North River Arts Society, and the Cambridge Art Association.

I have enjoyed working with a Boston organization, The Art Connection, donating many original paintings for placement in a variety of social service agencies in the Boston area (Rosie’s Place, Boston Medical Center, The Price Center, Project Hope, Devine Recovery Center to name a few). Residents often have a voice in the selection of artworks, so people who would not have original art in their lives can be surrounded by the real thing. Giving my art to this cause is personally very rewarding.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.joannechittick.com
  • Phone: 781-383-9220
  • Email: jochittick@hotmail.com; joanne@joannechittick.com
  • Facebook: JoAnne Chittick Studio

Image Credit:
JoAnne Chittick

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