Joellyn Ross: Artist Statement

Joellyn Ross: Artist Statement

My painting represents an ongoing challenge to respond creatively to and to manage the tensions between order and disorder. It is a process of ongoing exploration, using color and form to create an emotional response.

My method is an open-ended inquiry using color, geometric shapes and pattern to create an engaging visual experience. I am inspired by color, by geometric forms and architecture. I want to stimulate visual meditation, facilitated by color and form which together create depth.

Most of my paintings are made with acrylic, although I occasionally use watercolors. I find it helpful to photograph my works in process, and then to edit them on my iPad, which allows me to rehearse changes. My process is one of ongoing experimentation, such that my paintings go through many iterations before they are finished.

I draw inspiration from many sources, but am particularly drawn to the work of Sean Scully, Richard Diebenkorn, Opy Zouni, Gerhard Richter and Jasper Johns, the architecture of Frank Gehry and the ruins of ancient Greece. With all these, the calm and well-organized surfaces belie the tensions underneath. My experience of these artists is that we are kindred spirits, presenting calm and organized façades in an effort to feel mastery over one’s own emotions. The Greek ruins?--they survive, and are beautiful despite centuries of damage: their existence itself is a hopeful message.

I am a psychologist as well as a painter. In my psychotherapeutic work, my goal is to help others find ways to cope with the life challenges confronting them. I provide structure and calm, enabling them to cope with and manage their tensions. While in my painting process, I find the geometric simplicity of the forms I use provides me with the structure to manage my own tensions, while the colors reflect my love of life. My hope is that my viewers will be drawn in by the shapes and color, and then be able to relax into their own emotional experiences.