Sunday, September 18, 2011

Joy Gardner at Rue du Pont Galerie

A true artist is born an artist. Even when life decisions and paths lead in a different direction for a while, the artist inside will always be there, often just on the cusp, waiting to escape and lead the artist back to that place of fulfillment that an artist can only get from creating. Many painters have the ability to copy and put on canvas the literal interpretation of something (or another artist's work--a major flaw and detriment to the ultimate success of said copier) they have seen. A true artist is fed from deep inside and soulfully feels what they are painting. The interpretation is uniquely their own. Such is exactly the case with Joy Gardner who currently is the featured artist at Rue du Pont Galerie in Louisiana.

Joy Gardner show at Rue du Pont Galerie-Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

"I began painting as a young child, taking classes throughout my youth, including as part of my high school and college curriculum."

A life of marriage, two children, and full-time employment as a paralegal for nearly 25 years left little time for painting. But the artist inside never ceased to speak. "I began painting seriously when I rented a studio space at St. Joan of Arc about four years ago. I had sold a few paintings through the years before that, but that was when I really began to work on painting a more serious body of work and to really develop my own style." A well-lived life filled with travel, time on the water, and exposure to the work of some of her favorite artists (Wolf Kahn, Ira Barkoff, Joan Mitchell, Bonnard, Monet, Matisse, and Mary Cassatt) serve as influences and inspiration for the pieces born in the large studio space which I have visited.

Inside Joy Gardner's studio at St. Joan of Arc in Mobile, Alabama

The artist path that Joy took from early studies to present has seen several chapters. When I asked Joy about the training she has had, she answered:

"After college, I began taking watercolor classes with a well-known and very talented Mobile artist, the late Bea Tucker.  I took classes and studied under Bea and she became a dear friend and a mentor for me.  She encouraged me to continue painting and I learned a great deal from her.  At some point I began painting in oils and Bea helped me learn about that medium."

And then you have the span of time (marriage, children, career) from post college to 2009:

"During the summer of 2009, I got to know another talented local artist and teacher, Wanda Sullivan.  I participated in a small group workshop which Wanda taught in my studio.  I consider that workshop a turning point in my artistic career.  It was at that point that I began to compile a cohesive body of paintings.  I consider Wanda a good friend and I continue to admire her work.
In the fall of 2009 I participated in a workshop taught by New Orleans artist, Karen Stastny.  That opportunity helped to influence my creativity and loosened my style as well as teaching me more about the possibilities of mixed media work."

A Stastny-inspried piece in the show at Rue du Pont GalerieAbstract Greensview, 24" x 25.5" (framed), $ 700.00

In just two years since her first gallery show at Robertson Gallery in Mobile, Gardner's work has appealed to many collectors and, more importantly, gallery owners and an art agent (yes, I serve as Joy Gardner's agent and am responsible for the show at Lue Svendson's Rue du Pont Galerie as well as 2010 showings at Tracery in Rosemary Beach, FL, and Gerilyn Lytal Roth Interiors in Lafayette, LA). Currently, in addition to Rue du Pont Galerie, Gallery at City Club, and Lounge Gallery all in the Lafayette area, Robertson Gallery in Mobile, View Gallery in Jackson, and Lyons Share Gallery in Fairhope have quite a nice selection of oil on canvas pieces by Gardner.

Here are three of my favorite pieces that are available at Rue du Pont Galerie:

Blue Thicket, 24" x 24, $ 700 (Framed)

Cypress Trees in Blues & Greens, 30" x 40", $ 1,200.00

Moore Creek Reflections I and II Diptych, 30" x 40" each, $ 2,300 for diptych

"I am inspired most by nature- by being outdoors feeling and observing the ever-changing landscape.  I am especially drawn to trees, foliage, flowers.  The water’s edge is a constant source of inspiration for me, whether the bank of Moore Creek which runs in front of my home, or the shore of Mobile Bay and its many other tributaries or the Gulf of Mexico."

Wolf Kahn said, "Keep the childlike vision and remain true to your ideas." Joy Gardner has listened to the artist within since childhood and is now, as a mature adult, able to truthfully explore and execute that vision.

Additional Images from show at Rue du Pont Galerie:

For inquiries about any of Joy Gardner's paintings, please contact me or Lue Svendson at Rue du Pont Galerie.


Joy Gardner, Mobile, AL  
Rue du Pont Galerie, Breaux Bridge, LA
Robertson Gallery, Mobile, AL