Joan B. Tumpson
Artist's Statement


On September 11, 2001, I was in Vietnam, trying to understand one epoch of senseless brutality
when another burst upon us. In Vietnam, the scars of war are hidden and a green world grows over
old wounds. I wanted to make this green mine: to paint the renewal and growth of wild things and
fields under cultivation, yet to render them in the unyielding moment when we realize we will lose
them again and again in time.

On the edge of temporal loss, all beauty seems more radiant. It is a place of change, where things
are most creative and most destructive. A dangerous place, but a joyous place as well. There one makes art.

I am a small-town girl from West Virginia. But after I got my BA at Northwestern University, Yale Law School invited me to join the Class of '73. I believed my options were widening -- big-firm salaries were seductive and I became a lawyer instead of an artist, but never stopped trying to make art. By 1991, I had begun to study and make art with the intensity of obsession. I left my legal practice, and rented a studio. This was not a courageous decision, but something I had to do -- I could not do otherwise.

My work is a dialogue with color with the emotions that move any good fight --- love, hate, anger, joy, passion. I hang my colors on images which make me happy - people, places and particularly the outdoors and living things. I could be characterized as a 'colorist' or an 'impressionist,' but the thing
for me is to get the color and movement right. If one succeeds in that, the painting will communicate and perhaps invite contemplation


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Copyright © Joan Tumpson, 2004. All rights reserved.