To those that know Joanne, she is an amazement. She's a gal with a big personality, tremendous energy and a big heart. It's never enough for her to make just one or two dolls/buttons/books/whatever, she's got to make twenty. Grass doesn't grow under her feet as she's always on the move (just take a look at all the places she has lived!). She has been fortunate enough to go to many, many art retreats over the past several years. As a result, her art has grown in leaps and bounds since I met her about six years ago. Her enthusiasm is always contagious. I love her and her work and hope you do too.
Where are you from? And, where do you live now?
I grew up in West Hartford, CT. Now I live in Portage MI. In between these locations I have lived in Towson, MD; Miami, FL; East Providence, RI; Chicago, IL; Charlottesville, VA; Stamford, CT; Great Barrington, MA; Springfield, IL; and Topeka, KS.
What is your art education?
I tell people that I suffer from post traumatic eighth grade art teacher syndrome because my eighth grade art teacher told me to stop taking art classes. After that, I went "underground" with my art: night classes at Hartford's Wadsworth Atheneum, and Rhode Island School of Design; classes at various independent book stores, craft shops and stamp stores; and art retreats. I cannot recommend art retreats highly enough; they are gatherings of like-minded people sharing and learning.
Have you always been an artist or are you “new” to it?
I have always wanted to create art, but have never been able to focus on any one technique or style. It is only in the past 10 years that I have had the courage to admit to myself and the world that I am an artist.
What is your specialty? And, have you always worked in this medium?
I have no specific medium. I bounce from technique to technique and then incorporate whatever I have been doing into the next new (or revisited) art form. That's why I love the popularity of "mixed media." Currently, I like incorporating PhotoShop (combining photography, scanning and collage) and art quilting; and I'm playing with the idea of making wearables. I also love to work with dolls and jewelry. Frankly, I want to do it all.
It's very messy and chaotic looking.
Please describe your work.
What inspires you?
Gathering with fellow artists, both in person and online is very inspiring. I love the energy and excitement that comes from sharing ideas and techniques. I also enjoy art books and magazines.
When you’re not making art, what are you doing?
I spend a lot of time traveling to see family and friends (and the world). I enjoy reading novels with a definite preference for fiction. I love going out to lunch with my friends. Now that my children are adults and I'm old, I have a very decadent life and I enjoy it to the hilt.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I'm delighted to announce that I'll be teaching a class in making crowns at ArtUnraveled in Phoenix, AZ in August 2010. Yes, Phoenix in August - but the airline tickets and hotel rooms are cheap then and it's a really great art retreat.
How can you be contacted about your work?
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org; or you can go to my blog at http://joannethiemehuffman.typepad.com/; or, you can visit my website at http://jthcreations.com/
Joanne, thanks very much for sharing a bit of your life and art with us today. And dear friends out in blogland, I hope you'll check out her sites, or better yet, take her class at ArtUnraveled.