Joanie Klorer grew up in a large Midwestern family, where her love of art began as a child. However, like many young artists, pursuing a career in art wasn’t to be, and she headed in a different direction. In 1985 she realized that she really didn’t care for living in the Midwest, and decided to start anew, quitting her job, selling her house and heading west to Seattle.
For 37 years, Joanie was a dedicated Social Worker, counseling young children and their families. In her work as a counselor, she frequently used art as an avenue for the children to express their difficulties and resolve painful experiences.
Seventeen years ago, she decided to pick up the brushes again. Hesitant to invest too much money and time in the new venture, she bought one canvas and used leftover latex house paint. She worked on the piece for several years—an abstract about a storm she experienced in Kansas in 1976. The experience taught her how to express herself visually and inspired her to continue painting in a limited fashion. When she retired eight years ago and moved to Bainbridge Island, she began painting more regularly, taking classes and refining her art.
Joanie has drawn on the techniques she used in her counseling career to paint her own memories, which she often finds are like a film on a continuous loop, playing over and over in her mind. Her paintings are an expression of those memories, especially as they are connected to where she grew up. She uses acrylics to create abstract expressionist pieces that she hopes will remind the viewer of their own remembrances and experiences.
Today, she still draws upon her memories, but has recently been concentrating on the nature of identity. She is currently working on an upcoming exhibit, scheduled to be held in 2022 at the Bainbridge Island Library First Friday Art Walk. As she describes it, “the show will focus on my belief that there is no static ‘me’ and no core self. Thoughts, feelings and body change from moment to moment. The working title for my show is ‘Who I was Before I Was Me’ and thus will incorporate themes of both memory and identity.”
Her career in social work and counseling has helped her focus on and support her friends and family during the past 12 months. One way she did that was to turn her attention away from the larger format pieces she typically paints to very small paintings, which she’s turned into cards. She then sends them to family and friends she’s been unable to see during the pandemic.
“Making the cards has helped me stay connected with people who are important to me. Nowadays, my seven siblings and my friends receive an original painting for a special occasion instead of a store-bought card,” she said. In addition, Joanie has been collaborating with her wife, LinMara Bluebird, who is a collage artist. While Joanie paints the cards, LinMara embellishes some of them with collage elements, creating not just unique pieces, but giving them both a new experience they can share together.
Although much of what Joanie paints is inspired by her memories, she’s also inspired by other artists and is an avid lover of galleries and museums. She spent most of the pandemic months visiting them virtually, and, needless to say, she’s over the moon now that BIMA and other galleries are opening up under the current re-opening phases.
Joanie does not have a website. If you wish to inquire about purchasing her work directly, contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a viewing.
OTHER ISLAND WANDERINGS:
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Island Wanderings: Wendy Armstrong
Island Wanderings: Fatima Young
Island Wanderings: Gigi Godfrey
Island Wanderings: Chris Demarest
Island Wanderings: Deborah Rhee
Island Wanderings: Andy Bergh
ABOUT MARGARET MILLMORE. Margaret Millmore is a supernatural fiction author and blogger, living on Bainbridge Island with her husband, Bryan. Her first published works were flash fiction, The Welcome Home and Untitled – Luke N. Goode, which were featured on Bay Area artist, Kenny Mencher’s blog. In 2011 she published her first full length novel, since then she’s published a three book series, another novel and her current series (via Next Chapter Publishing – formerly Creativia Publishing) What Haunts Me (Ghost Killer Book 1); The Edge of the Cemetery (Ghost Killer Book 2), which was awarded the August 2016 Book of the Month award by Long and Short Reviews; and What Hunts Me (Ghost Killer Book 3). The majority of her books are set in San Francisco where she lived—previous to island life—for over 26 years. Her preferred writing genre is supernatural fiction, with the exception of her time-travel novel, The Dragonfly Door. In addition to her novels, Margaret writes a blog, called The Island Wanderer – which focuses on people, events and businesses on Bainbridge Island: https://theislandwanderer.com/blog/. All her books can be found on her website and her Amazon Author page.