Beauty repairs the world. Everything that is beautiful -- whether strong, fragile, or lost -- everything that is beautiful compels us to acknowledge, honor and protect it and its memory. An expression on a beloved face, a facade of peeling blue paint, a vast ocean, a half-forgotten song: we want to preserve these. In this commitment lies a powerful foundation for both social and environmental justice.
This makes beauty important and powerful. This is why I paint.
The landscapes feature Chesapeake and Cape Cod wildlife sanctuaries, fishing grounds, and threatened estuaries, as well as historic battlefields. Their strong horizons, shifting light, photographic clarity, spare compositions and fragile subjects parallel the ideas in the still life paintings, the photographs, and the collage constructions.
Working along the water's edge to capture the movement of light and air, temperature and humidity, the angle and color of shadows, I think of each of these landscapes as portraits of a place in time. Remarkably, they are also universal; countless people have told me that a painting of Wellfleet, for instance, recalls their childhood in Brittany, or Devonshire, or the Outer Banks.
The still-life paintings are borne of inclement days when it is too hot, too cold, or too wet to work outdoors. They too are small, interior portraits, tabletop landscapes, of the everyday-- holding, like a breath, a moment in place.
2013 has come roaring in with four exhibitions in the space of two months.
The 10th Anniversary Show at Area 405 in Baltimore was a special joy, enabling me to explore another medium in mixed-media collage.
To view the paintings, photographs and collages, visit the Gallery
Educated in fine arts at Yale, Jo Brown studied sculpture with Erwin Hauer
, painting with Bernard Chaet and William Bailey, and photography. At Yale she appreciated the work of photographers Paul Strand
, Edward Weston, and Walker Evans
, and painters Mark Rothko
, Ad Reinhardt, John Singer Sargent
, Thomas Eakins, and Edward Hopper
. She learned a great deal from MICA's Joe Giordano, a student of Fairfield Porter
. As a landscape painter she is self-taught, and counts Fitz Hugh Lane
, John Frederick Kensett
, Mary Cassatt, Edouard Vuillard, Giorgio Morandi
, Mark Rothko, and the Dutch and Flemish seascape painters as major influences. She lives in her favorite place, Baltimore, with her partner, the blues bassist Tony Ryder
To view the paintings, click here: Gallery
To support my nomination for the Baker Artist Award
To send Jo Brown
an e-mail, click here.