Artist of the Month
Joni Smith is currently an acrylic painter and mixed media artist but has done artsy things since she was very young. Her mother, a rochet and ceramics crafter, always encouraged artistic expression. Joni took art lessons through primary school and graduated with a BFA in Art from Winthrop University (formerly College) in Rock Hill, SC.
After an internship, she got a job as a graphic designer for an advertising agency. When she left the ad agency, she became a stay-at-home mom for 20 years. During this time, she took on a multitude of art endeavors – such as painting clay pots to sell, making jewelry, and creating realistic, commissioned murals.
In the early 2000s Joni moved to Etowah, TN. One of her biggest projects here included a massive medieval mural at the local middle school. In 2010, she entered some of her work into the Dogwood Arts Festival. At the festival, she met the owner of a local company called Bliss and sold some bird paintings through them for a time.
Joni works at Hobby Lobby and learned about paint pouring a couple years ago. This has become a new obsession of hers, and she currently teaches classes about it at work.
Joni’s nature is to be painstakingly realistic about her paintings. She explained, “Paint pouring is freeing because you don’t have a lot of control.” While there are many different techniques, it’s still not a totally predictable process. She’s discovered a lot of new ideas from pouring and has a goal of incorporating these concepts into her traditional paintings.
She’s also very inspired by the human skeleton and unique animal shapes.
Now that her three sons are out of the house; Joni wants to get more serious about her art. A little over a year ago, Joni met Brenda, Tennessee Artists Association (TAA) member, at work. After speaking with Brenda, Joni gave a paint pouring demonstration and joined TAA. Last year, she was part of the TAA Fall Juried Show and plans to enter this year as well. Joni is also currently working on a website.
Synthia Clark, Interview and Photographs