Joan Larson has been involved in the arts all her life. An early interest in art led her to study at the Banff Centre, the University of Victoria, and the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
Joan specializes in equine art work, often drawing upon her background of landscape and figurative painting to create her work. Born in Sexsmith Alberta, she was influenced by the open, rural landscape around her. However, a family move to Victoria, B.C. while still young, gave her an appreciation of the surrounding forests and ocean.
Joan’s career experiences have included graphic design, illustration, managing her own gallery in Palm Desert, California, and developing several picture framing businesses. Her diverse education and life experiences have given her a practical understanding of the business aspects of the art world, as well as a technical proficiency with a variety of art mediums.
Her preference to work primarily with pastels is due to the exceptional colour effects that can be achieved when working with sticks of pure pigment. Her subjects have been described as “sensitive portrayals, so life like that the personalities shine through.” Often using unusual angles of observation and varying light sources, she is able to capture the more subtle aspects of the human/animal relationship.
Joan’s work has won awards and been featured in several publications. She shows her work at selected exhibits, including the Spruce Meadows “Masters”; Equi-Fair in Calgary, Alberta, and has been accepted to the American Academy of Equine Artists juried shows in Lexington, Kentucky. She is a member of the Pastel Society of Canada, the Equine Art Guild and the Federation of Canadian Artists. Her work can be found in numerous private and public collections.
Her home and studio are located on a scenic acreage in the Qualicum Beach area of Vancouver Island.
2008 is shaping up to another busy year in the studio. An invitation to show her work at the Look Gallery in Helmsley, Yorkshire, UK is the first show of the year. New works are in progress for that show opening on April 27.
Joan is also pleased to announce that her first illustrated book, “Yetsa’s Sweater” has been nominated for another award. So far the list includes:
• 2007 – 08 Chocolate Lily Award from the BC Teachers & Librarians Assoc.
• 2007 Shining Willow Award from the Saskatchewan Young Readers Choice Awards (voting ended on Feb. 29/08)
• 2007 BC Booksellers Choice Award
• 2008 Silver Birch Award from the Ontario Library Association
It has also been chosen for the “Top 5 Books by the Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children” by Rutgers University, New Brunswick
A second illustrated book is currently in the works . . .
Joan will be back at Equi-Fair at Spruce Meadows this fall. It will be her 20th year there. Time flies to say the least. She will be previewing new works and new projects. If you would like an invitation to the “Preferred Customer Evening” please contact the studio and we will make sure to send you one.
Joan will be having a one-person show at The Old School House in Qualicum Beach, Nov. 10 – Dec. 7. She will be previewing some of the new “RCMP Musical Ride” artworks at that time.