Thanks to guest writer Sera Stanton for today’s post.
Among an era of new and contemporary art, the painting methods of the old masters still stand out as an important and influential style. Artist Joanne Licardo trained in this style under Norwegian painter Jan Saether to learn her precise painting technique.
A transplant from California, Joanne moved to Portland two and a half years ago and loves it. Since moving, she has a lot more time to focus on painting. Joanne also teaches at the Multnomah Arts Center and her SE Portland studio. She says that she has a great time teaching, especially when working with people that have wanted to learn for a long time. Breakthroughs in a new painter’s work excites and inspires Joanne, who loves to share her work and techniques. She has been teaching for twenty years.
The piece Joanne was working on today was similar to her other works in method. She sanded the primed canvas down so that she could create her own texture with the paint, rather than the predetermined canvas texture. Aside from canvas, she likes to work on wood panels or linen, in particular oil primed linen. After sanding, she puts turpentine down on the canvas and freepaints the basic shapes of her subject. Today she was painting a still life of lilacs, shoes and fabric. Next, she lays down blocks of color and continues to build up layers of paint. The turpentine helps the paint dry faster so she doesn’t have to worry about on-canvas colors mixing. Her strokes are gentle and knowing, starting with a wet brush and sometimes following with a dry brush to smooth out the paint. “I don’t like to use colors out of the tube,” Joanne says, “mixing the colors makes it your own… makes it more mature.”
In front of her still life painting sat a breathtaking portrait of Joanne’s daughter, who also moved to Portland. Joanne says that she likes to do portraits, often of people she knows or for commissions. However, she also did a large series of Mandala paintings. Different than her usual earthy palette, the Mandala paintings are bright and gemlike. “Mandalas are healing,” Joanne says, going on to explain that she thinks anything that will help heal people and the earth is good.
Several of Joanne’s friends from the Portland Painter’s Social Guild stopped by to say hello and check on her progress. They told me that Joanne is always a pleasure to be around and that her work delights them.