NEWS & EVENTS:
• April 9 through April 28 American Watercolor Society Annual International Exhibition. My piece Giverny Revisited will be on display as part of the 151st Annual Exhibition at the Salmagundi Club in New York City.
• April 26 through May 27 440 Gallery I will be showing new work in the Project Space
• Ongoing Joy has work on display, along with her 440 Gallery colleagues, at BrooklynWorks at 159, a cool co-working space in Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn.
• Try and locate Joy—she is artist #58—from the assemblage of over 600 female artists who gathered at the Brooklyn Museum on the morning of Sunday, October 23 as part of Now Be Here #2, an event organized by Kim Schoenstadt, Shinique Smith and Paola Kudacki
The Brooklyn Paper Local Color: Step inside the artists’ studios in Park Slope and Windsor Terrace
BKLYNER Meet Your Neighborhood Artists
My fascination with light, reflections and color developed in the galleries of the Philadelphia museums I went to as a child. Soaking in the imagery of Eakins, Peale and the Impressionists, I was inspired to draw the world around me, incorporating everyday objects and scenes from my life with the grand vision I saw expressed in fine art. As a teen, I discovered watercolor as an approachable medium, great for making distinctive shadows and color-cast reflections. I preferred working on paper to canvas or other surfaces.
My current paintings are contemporary observations of daily life seen through landscapes and seascapes, often with figures incorporated into the composition. Subjects come from neighborhoods in NYC and from travels domestically and abroad. On the beaches of Brooklyn and in the gardens of Europe I still find compelling links between everyday moments and the great works of art.
I am always on the lookout for a subject to paint. I am not drawn to subtlety and I like to throw it to the cheap seats for impact, so I seek out dramatic scenes that include surprising elements and may allude to some storytelling and emotional connections. When something stops me in my tracks, such as a jungle of antennas on a Roman rooftop at sunset, I’ll document is carefully with a series of photographs and then explore it back in the studio as a watercolor. I’m a very patient person when it comes to my art. I’ll wait for a cloud to dissipate, for a person to emerge from the shadows, for the sun to move lower behind the trees and turn them red. I might see the potential for a painting through the viewfinder of my camera, or I might observe something while walking along. It’s in those moments that I instinctively know all the elements are right, and I find my next painting.
Watercolor requires acceptance by the artist that one cannot always control how paint and paper will react. I don’t struggle with this. I approach each watercolor with a bit of a strategy, and let that dissolve as the painting evolves. Initially, I identify where the highlights of the image are going to go—every image has white areas—and then figure out how I will make use of the brightness of the paper without using white paint. I draw minimal, yet accurate pencil marks, and then turn to the watercolor to take advantage of the chemistry of water, pigment and gravity on thick, beautiful paper. The surface of the paper is as integral to the finished work as is the imagery. I want the viewer to be moved by both the intimacy of the subject as well as the beauty of the painted surface—one that’s filled with innumerable touches of the artist’s hand and thoughts.
My paintings take anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks to complete. The process is ultimately about the devotion to time and energy that gets fueled by the excitement of seeing an image emerge out of brushstrokes and lots of water. For the viewer, I hope that they sense how consumed I have been in the creation of this reality—a convincing and accurate one, yet beautiful and moving too. —Joy Makon, January, 2018.
Joy has a BFA in graphic design and photography from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, where she studied with John Moore, Stanislaw Zagorski and Joseph Scorsone. Her work has been shown in juried and gallery shows and can be found in private collections throughout the U.S. She has been recognized by the Art Directors Club, Society of Publication Designers and the Society of Illustrators, for her work as a magazine art director.
Joy is a member-artist at 440 Gallery in Park Slope, Brooklyn and can often be found at the gallery on weekends.
Please contact Joy if you would like to add one of her paintings to your art collection. Giclée prints, using exacting archival techniques on fine art paper, are available for many of the paintings in my portfolio.