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Joan Scheibel.jpg

I’m often asked about my process.


I feel it's not really a process so much as a way of life. Like all of us, I see things that move me in life — a shadow, a dance, a church or just everyday objects.  It’s as if an engine switches on in my brain and it won’t stop until I reimagine that image — and send it back into the universe on canvas. Suddenly and finally, the image that grabbed me, is reconstituted to grab you. The universal eye.


I’m always looking for an image, a feeling, a moment. Often while I’m looking, something out of left field surprises me. But it finds its way to me because I’ve opened myself up. I don’t judge, I observe, I accept.


Back in my studio, I create a mise en scene. I surround myself with the right brushes, paints, graphite, pastels etc. and start to experiment with color combinations on palettes. I print out images to work from, and tape them on the wall over my table. Choosing the sizes of canvasses to be stretched forces me to start planning the series. I work in layers, letting each layer dry before painting another usually working from light to dark.


There’s always this seductive tension between what I intend versus what I’m creating. Only when I’m done, do I step back and see I’ve put something crucial into the piece I wasnt even aware of. Something that surprises me or something that brings the whole piece together. This is the moment you paint for, when effort and exertion give way to a divine creation. It was there all along, I just had to find it. It’s full circle, a life cycle. And then I put it out, back into the universe, and watch people have their reaction, their moment. I always love to hear what viewers see in my work…when someone points out something I never saw in my own painting. That’s the moment when that invisible wire that connects us all, vibrates. And it makes me want to go home and paint again.

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