Meet The Artist

Joanna May Artist

Joanna May

Joanna’s paintings are objects of beauty and magic to be collected and treasured for a lifetime, she aims to touch the soul of the admirer. Her vision creates hauntingly beautiful animals with her ever-adapting style, which can sometimes use unexpected colours, words repeated to form an image, or gold leaf. Some of Joanna’s work is cropped into contemporary compositions which enhance today’s popular minimalist interior design for private homes,
boutique hotels or corporate organisations.

Joanna is recognised and collected in the Art Market and has a listing in ‘Who’s Who in Art’. Her work has sold at Christies Auctions. A series of her paintings hang in two of the famous chefs ‘Raymond Blanc’ bedroom suites at his hotel ‘Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons’. She has sold to blue chip organizations such as Standard Chartered Bank and Old Mutual Bank to add to their contemporary art collection. She has also sold her work to many

At the beginning of her career, she became well known for painting the British Brown Hare, in 2006 she appeared on the BBC program ‘Spring Watch’ to talk about them. This is still one of her most
popular subjects today. She explains:

‘It all started with the hare - what interested me is the mystical side, we don’t know much about them and their habits. I painted the first one when I opened my gallery in Marlborough in 2000. It was a painting I had in my head for seven years when I was illustrating wildlife books. I was thirsty to paint for me and show off my forte of fur detail. My father worked in publishing and, from as far back as I can remember, I wanted to be an artist and he encouraged me, believing it was a worthy career.’

Joanna continues:

‘I started by painting animals with photographic realism but became increasingly interested in how my work could fit into an interior, so I continued to adapt my style. I am always excited to come up with something fresh and vibrant. This changed to a new level in 2004 when I had a painting accepted at a Christies ‘Art for Life’ auction. I wanted to do something different with wildlife, so I painted my first Zebra, cropping the pattern to the edge of the canvas. I love the patterns you can find in nature, the stripes of a Zebra and the spots of a Leopard they are a graphic gift!’

‘Style and colour started to influence me further, so after the popularity of my bold Leopards in natural colours, I painted them in bright pink, lime green and purple, aiming for something unique. I want to invigorate nature through its imaginative use of colour and abstraction. So, it’s not merely a lion, tiger, leopard, or zebra because they are personalised to make bold graphic statements to fit in with strong contemporary design.’

‘Nature is full of colour and bold patterns, look at the brightly coloured turquoise of a Morpho Butterfly or the red and green of the Dart Frog. There is a spectrum of colour out there and I love embracing it, especially since the interior market is grabbing jewel like colours in furnishings and accent walls. Interior Design is something that I’m passionate about and greatly reflects in my work.’

‘I went through a faze of using words as shading to form animals. My latest work incorporates gold leaf, my aim is to not only capture wildlife but to adorn it to celebrate its beauty.’

‘I adore animals and capturing them realistically is something I always return to; I especially like to capture their soul through their eyes. Another element to my work is to realistically capture people’s
pets. In this work I am back to passionately getting lost in detail. It is a thrill to be able to touch the owner’s heart by bringing to life a portrait in coloured pencil or paint.’

Joanna has appeared on TV, radio, and many newspaper and magazines articles. In 2006 Joanna talked about her life and career on BBC’s ‘Spring Watch’ program. In 2012 her work and her beautiful home were featured in the magazine ‘25 Beautiful Homes’. She has worked with many celebrities and wildlife TV presenters to help raise money for conservation and endangered animals raising over £100,000 over the years. She has also worked directly with many conservation groups.

Her career started in 1991 as a book illustrator and in 2001 she opened her first gallery in Marlborough. She has continued to showcase her work through her own gallery’s based in Wiltshire. Opening her latest in Corsham, shared with the TV Presenter ‘Paul Martin’,

Please view a flip book which summarises her career called ‘Joanna’s Journey’. Underneath you can press on a button called ‘Events’
to read more and see a bigger selection of photos of each event.

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Joanna In The Spotlight

Joanna Artisan Tiles