Tasmanian Watercolours

Joanne Mitchelson

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 Joanne Mitchelson - About the Artist

Artist Statement

I believe my paintings have evolved  and show even more attention to detail.  There is an increased emotional content as well, but I think it’s the place of my audience to say so, rather than mine.  I aim to work 6 hours per day.  I usually do quite detailed drawing-up first, which may take up to a month, with some work taking up to 3 months to complete. 

The detail I do is certainly more of a compulsion than intent.  I am addicted to it!  I would not feel satisfied with a picture that didn’t reflect the entire, complex beauty of the subject matter!  I want the viewer to feel they could walk into the picture and examine everything for themselves; to experience it.  Sometimes when I am painting, the picture I am creating feels as if it could be the whole world.  I am part of the painting.  I must be very focused in order to paint.   I approach it in terms of shape and intersecting angles, tone, colour, and texture.  I feel a great interest or connectedness with my subject matter.  In painting something, I am truly learning to see it and understand it.   

I am aware that my style is not traditional watercolour, although I do use a lot of traditional techniques.  People frequently exclaim, “is that a watercolour”?  They are not used to seeing so much detail in a watercolour, nor the intensity of colour. I build up more layers of colour than any other watercolourist I know.  And even if it’s a single wash, it may be intense in colour; especially the shadows.  They may be nearly black, although I rarely use ‘tube’ black.  My aim is to make the colours as natural as possible, and I love to show subtleties and a wide range of tones, from the softest distant mountains to the strongest foreground shadows.  It gives the impression of distance and realism, and I think this is why people like my paintings so much.  They are, however, often mistaken for photos and I’m not sure whether to be flattered or annoyed!

I have taught drawing and painting successfully in the past, being described by my students as “a very patient teacher”.  I prefer small groups or, a single private student.  They do very well with a high level of attention, and I enjoy seeing people do well.  However, teaching is not something I feel I want to do at the moment.  Maybe later. 

Nothing can match the feeling of satisfaction and excitement when you know the painting is going well, and to see it growing before you, the work of your own hands!  My work space is a simple transportable unit  which has a wonderful, inspiring view of Quamby Bluff, across the paddocks of the family farm at Westbury. 

Artist Profile - Influences



Highly Commended -  2007 Glover Art Prize

Exhibition featured in "Tasmanian Life" magazine Autumn '04
Invited to be an 'Emerging Artist' -  2004 Tasmanian Art and Craft Fair

Invited to exhibit at the Launceston Country Club Casino. 2004 Invited to play the pan flute. Country Club Casino 2004

Released the first Limited Edition prints  February 2003,

Participated in "Living Artist's Week, 2003.

Limited Edition prints and original watercolours
The Tasmanian Art and Craft Fair,  2003.

Stanley Art Exhibition
- Patrick Hursey Memorial Prize (By public vote) 2001.

 "10 Days on the Island" Exhibition at Stanley; 2001.

Highly commended,
 Crows Nest/North Shore Times Art Competition 2000 Sydney

First place, Rotary Art Exhibition 2000, Ulverstone Civic Centre.

 Acquisition prize, or the painting "Channel Sunset, Bruny Island".
Rotary Art Exhibition2001, Ulverstone Civic Centre.

'Highly commended', for painting "Fields of Gold".
."10 Days on the Island"
1993 Westpac Award,  Highest achiever, Launceston TAFE
1993 Asociate Diploma of Graphic Design.


“Joanne, though basically a fine photo-realist, adds another dimension to her work in that the accuracy of her observation is further strengthened by an obvious and emotionally powerful attachment to the Tasmanian Landscape within which she has grown”.

Quote by John Crook of Fine Art Picture Framing, March 2004


© 2013 Joanne Mitchelson