Joan Burdett Ness
Fine Art & Wooden Boats
At the heart of my work is an empathy and respect for the simple beauty of the earth and nature. My landscapes, seascapes and wooden ships are inspired by an enduring love for the spirit and wisdom of this awesome planet. I am certain that quiet observation and reflective 'being' with any living thing will reveal its essence and meaning. I have always tried to honour this through painting, drawing and building things and I make every effort to let the inspiration determine the medium rather than the other way around. So if it needs to be an oil, a watercolour, a wooden ship; if it needs to fly or be still, so be it.
There are certain special moments, an unusual slant of light, a splash of colour, a fleeting reflection, the feel of the wind or mist; moments, often brief and magical that breathe meaning into our lives. This is what inspires me to paint, to create, to build things and to share that experience.
Over the last 40 years I have enjoyed a broad spectrum of artistic collaborations and endeavours, from bird illustration to puppetry to stained glass. Currently, my focus is on painting and building whimsical wooden boats and mobiles.
I received my undergraduate and graduate education at Skidmore College, Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Art and Architecture. I have worked on projects with many environmental organizations and museums including UNICEF, the National Wildlife Federation, World Wildlife Fund Canada, the Ontario Herbalist Association, the Botanical Artists of Canada and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. I am a long time active member of the Art Tour Collective in Toronto and my work has been shown in studio tours, solo and group shows in Canada and the U.S.
Currently, I work in my studio in the Junction neighbourhood in Toronto and draw inspiration from all of the wonders of the world, large and small.