Joan Funk, Madison, AL Member Since October 2012 Artist Statement During a professional development exercise, when I was asked to name something I wanted to do in my lifetime, but had yet to pursue, with no internal deliberation necessary, my answer was "learn to paint." Once the desire had risen to the surface, there was no denying it, and I took my first formal drawing class in 2002.
Since then I've studied techniques in a variety of media under the instruction of skilled artists Chuck Long, Linda Ruhl, Harriet Dobbins, Doug Dawson, and Susan Ogilvie. As I learned more, I came to realize that mastering the art of painting is a lifetime endeavor.
Most often I work with watercolor, pastel, colored pencil or oil. I choose my subjects based on a particular challenge they present that I would like to work on, such as the reflective quality of light playing on water or the representation of a large crowd of people. Frequently my paintings are based on photos from my travels, another passion for a lifetime.
I am a subsystem manager for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. As an engineer, painting takes me out of my normal world to a place where time stops and the day-to-day challenges of life cease to exist. Painting allows me to exercise the visual, intuitive right side of my brain and relieves stress. It is not uncommon at the end of a painting session for me to have an alternate solution or option for a work-related problem.