Joan Gage Iconic Cards & Images
All work copyright © Iconic Cards & Images Joan Gage 1999 - 2008
Greek Cat Book
Seven years ago, after forty years as a working journalist, I went back to my first love - painting. Applied art was my major in college until I realized I had to choose between being a starving artist or a self-supporting writer, so I switched majors and, after graduating from Berkeley with a B.A. in English, I headed to Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, where I met my husband-to-be, author Nicholas Gage.
When I returned to painting in 1991, I chose the medium of watercolors because it seemed quicker and easier to use when traveling. I have always gravitated toward painting portraits and the figure in the environment.
Most of the paintings in this exhibit are based on my own photographs taken in Greece, Mexico, Italy, and Lebanon. The paintings of India are based on photographs taken by my daughter, author Eleni Gage. (I hope to travel to India later this year to take some of my own.)
Inspired by news photos, I've also done a series of paintings of children of war. Among them are the painting of a mixed-race, 2-month-old child of rape at the Al Riyadh camp in Darfur, Sudan, and the painting of a girl in front of a tent in an Afghan refugee camp.
For decades I've collected and been fascinated by antique photographs taken before 1900, and sometimes I paint from these-for example the portrait of "Lilly who drowned in 1894 wearing this same dress." That photograph, according to the seller, came with Lilly's ghost, but I think that nearly every photograph is haunted. Whenever I create a painting, I develop a story about the scene in my mind, but I think viewers will make up their own stories about these paintings and all the stories will be true.
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