Our roving reporter Ginny Brennan is at it again! This time she sits down with JoAnne Henault – Spokane Artist
Ginny – Can you share a little about yourself and what you do.
JoAnne – I’m a retired elementary teacher and I worked for Spokane Public School District 81. I have been retired since 2005. I reside in South Spokane. I was also born in Spokane and raised in Idaho. I moved back to Spokane after I was married. In my early forties, I began taking watercolor art classes in North Idaho. I began seriously painting after my retirement.
Ginny – What is your preferred medium and why is that?
JoAnne – I have painted in watercolor, acrylic and oil. I also have created in pencil, pen and ink. I spend most of my time going back and forth between watercolor and acrylic.
Sunflowers – Acrylics
Ginny – What were your early paintings about?
JoAnne – I paint mostly landscapes and skies with lots and lots of practice. I haven’t thrown away any of my early art.
Ginny – What themes do you incorporate into your artwork?
JoAnne – I love to paint landscapes and lots of animals. I have painted several friends pets, and I have done several commissions. I have even painted an elephant from a photo for a friend who had gone on an African safari.
Owl – Watercolor
Ginny – Can you remember one of the first things you drew or painted. What makes it memorable?
JoAnne – The first watercolor I did was a farm scene in sepia tone. It’s memorable because I completed it and it was worthy of being framed. It is still hanging in my home. My first acrylic was when I was learning how to paint flowers and I was pleased because I didn’t think I could do it.
Ginny – What was the best advice you have received?
JoAnne – Not to be afraid and keep trying.
Ginny – Do you have a favorite artist? If so, what draws you to that person’s work?
JoAnne – I love the Impressionists. They were brave enough to go where no man or woman had been. My first love was Monet and I will be able to see where he created his art in my travels on my next trip to Europe in October. Monet’s art makes one feel as if you are right there.
Ginny – Is there any local artist you admire famous or not? If yes, what draws you to that person’s work?
JoAnne – I love Spokane artist, Sue Rohrback’s work. Sue has been a great teacher, friend and mentor.
Ginny – Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your work?
JoAnne – I’m excited to now be using a lot of my own photographs as references. I love creating art from places I have visited.
Ginny – What is your favorite piece of work that you have created?
JoAnne – They’re all my favorites, as I’m working on them. I develop a love-hate relationship with each of them.
Ginny – What are you working on at the moment?
JoAnne – At the moment I am working on a couple of different things, one is a watercolor on Wallis Lake in Glacier and I’m also working on a piece with water lilies. There is something romantic about water lilies that draws me in.
Lake McDonald – Watercolor
Ginny – Have you ever stepped out of your comfort zone and discovered a whole new genre of art? How did it turn out?
JoAnne – Every time I try something new it’s out of my comfort zone. I learn so much and get new tips from everything I try.
Ginny – Professionally, what is your goal?
JoAnne – I just want to continue expanding my artistic abilities. I’m always seeking out new ideas.
Ginny Brennan – What are you doing when you are not creating? What other hobbies do you have?
JoAnne – I travel to see my “Lucy” my granddaughter and soon there will be a grandson. I grow dahlias and a few vegetables in my garden. I like to do crossword puzzles and play bridge and pinochle with friends.
Ginny – What, in your own opinion, is the hardest step in creating a masterpiece?
JoAnne – If I have created a masterpiece, the hardest step is not knowing when to stop going back and working on it. I’m still looking for the masterpiece.
Ginny – Where else can we find your art?
JoAnne – I am a member of River Ridge Association of Fine Art and my art can be seen at spokanerrafa.com.
Ginny Brennan – Where else do you sell your work?
JoAnne – I sell mainly at local shows throughout the year and through RRAFA’s group art venues in and around Spokane restaurants and public places.
Ginny – Do you have any tips or inspiring words for other?
JoAnne – I always say if I can do art anybody can. Just give yourself the time, quiet your mind and concentrate.
Ginny – What is your favorite color, your favorite animal, your favorite season and favorite book?
JoAnne – Pink is my favorite color and my favorite animal is a cat. My favorite season is summer. As for a favorite book, I like current best sellers and book club selections.