JOAN A. FENICLE
I am a multi-media artist who enjoys process, the mess of the acrylics and construction materials that go into the mixed-media pieces, getting oil paint on my hands and clothes, mounting my photographs on wood panel and coating them with cold wax as a finish. Creating the image is only half the challenge. The designs begin in my mind, inspired by the images collected during my wanderings but usually take on a life of their own once I begin working on them.
I grew up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where my mother and grandmother were born in the high mountain mining camps. They were content to stay planted there. My father's people were in this country before the Revolutionary War but came west, some in search of gold, some in search of adventure. My father was born on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming where grandfather had come to live among the Shoshone and build schools. I have called New Mexico home since the 1970s.
I have been roaming the caminos and callejones of New Mexico and Colorado for over 50 years, capturing their villages and vistas in pixels and paint. As I travel the back roads, I am looking for stories. An ancient tree, a village chapel, an old truck, abandoned buildings or just a dramatic cloud formation catch my eye and become part of the image collection that holds negatives, slides and digital images. Bits and pieces of various images may end up in the final piece.
Joan was honored with the 2016 Albuquerque Art Business Association President's Award, part of the Local Treasures program which recognizes artists that are devoted both to giving back to the community and encouraging young talent to continue the legacy of New Mexico’s diverse culture. She is a founding member of Wild Hearts Gallery and manager of Placitas' low power FM radio station, KUPR.
Back in the studio, an image may be simplified or integrated into another image to produce a study for a painting or may become a fine art photograph or a page in a book. Even the more abstract mixed-media pieces are inspired by nature, mostly geologic formations. Occasionally an image takes a strange turn and becomes part of my “Lost in a Dream” fantasy series that is home to all kinds of shape shifters and spirits. I generally work in series and while the series themselves may be vastly different, the pieces within a series are tightly connected and presented as a whole. The gallery images below represent a selection from each series and two books sold through the gallery.