April Artist of the Month Joan Podd
Artist Joan Podd
Sophisticated Whimsy Collages
After taking my first art class in college I came home and told my parents that I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, be an artist. Thus began my 48-year journey to become an artist and art educator. Being an artist is like becoming a real human being; it’s a journey with no graduation day.
There were milestones that marked my progress. I graduated from the University of Southern Illinois in 1973 with a degree in art education and received my masters in art education from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1985. During my teaching career I have taught at every grade level, Kindergarten through graduate school. My teaching career culminated at the University of South Carolina where I got to bring together all of my experience and teach young pre-professionals how to become quality art educators.
There are three artists that have influenced my style and technique of making art. First, Henri Matisse, who in his later years of life, while he was confined to a wheelchair, painted paper and cut out his organic shapes while he directed his assistants to glue the shapes onto pieces of paper that were sometimes the size of a large wall. His colors and shapes fascinated me because he could express nature in its most simplistic form. The next artist that influenced my art is Henri Rousseau. Rousseau spent most of his life as a toll taker on a bridge in Paris. However, he would paint wonderful fantasy jungles scenes that were influenced by his trips to the botanical gardens and zoos of France. His nature scenes were totally invented compilations of his fantasies. Lastly, and probably the most influential, is the children’s author and artist, Eric Carle. Eric Carle would always emphasize two things about his art that inspired me. First, that making art is really fun, and second, anyone can do this. So I began painting my own papers and using my experiences as subject matter for my works of art. There has been more than one person look at my art and say, “That’s a happy artist!” Yes, that is very true. Artistic expression is always influenced by an artist’s personality and intent of visual communication. My intention is clear; I create landscapes of places that I would like to visit. My animals and insects are creatures that I have met while walking in the woods.
The images you will see are the result of over 50 years of teaching and making art. I hope you enjoy viewing them and perhaps one will speak to you enough that you will want to enjoy it in your own home or give it as a present.