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Acrylic, Oil, Resin, Alcohol Ink

JoAnne Crowson

The Long Road to Becoming an Artist
My journey into the world of art was definitely not a straight line. When I was young, I was a music kid, which meant I was not allowed to take art classes in school. I did not realize at the time what I was missing. After collage I started a career in the computer field and eventually became an independent project management consultant. The closest I came to creative projects was when I was designing websites. Honestly, I loved my job. The challenge of taking disparaging pieces of information, making sense of them, and then piecing them together to complete a project was very satisfying. Perhaps these past experiences are the reason I lean toward abstract art!
I married a wonderful man, eventually had a child, and went about my life still not realizing that something was missing. I decorated cakes as a hobby and used to joke that I could create anything with icing, but do not give me a pencil and paper.
As I approached retirement, I knew I would need to find something that would fill the void when I was no longer working. I realized I would need something that gave me purpose; something that I was passionate about. My daughter suggested that I try flow painting, so I watched a few YouTube videos, bought myself some basic painting supplies and started painting. To say I became obsessed with seeing what I could create would be a gross understatement.
By 2019 I had retired, and my husband and I relocated to Naples, Florida. Finally, I had the time to paint every day. Before long I wanted more control on how the final piece would look, so I bought myself some brushes and pallet knives and returned to YouTube to learn how to use them and it was then that I discovered the world of abstract art. A whole new world of art opened up for me; one field with vivid color and patterns that all had to be pieced together by analyzing their pieces and combining them to create a beautiful painting. Perhaps computers and art are not really that far apart!
Finally, I enrolled in abstract art classes to expand my techniques and eventually began showing my work in local shows and two of the COCO Art Galleries.
In our area we have a lot of out-of-town visitors and very often I heard that a potential collector loved a piece but shipping of a piece that large would be cost prohibitive. I then decided it was time to make some art on a smaller scale and started creating art jewelry boxes which I sell through both COCO Gallery and Gallery One on 5th Avenue in Naples, Florida.
During this journey I discovered that moving across the country and spending all my time alone in the studio could be lonely. I knew I had to fix this so I founded the Art Guild of Naples, a nonprofit artist community dedicated to helping visual artists succeed. I now serve as the First Vice President of the Art Council of Southwest Florida, which owns and operates the COCO Galleries.
Life is good!

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