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Meet Joy J. Rotblatt

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joy J. Rotblatt.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I have always been a storyteller. As a small girl in Chicago, I invented stories to tell the neighborhood kids, and later used dreamlike narrative imagery in my work when I graduated from the Otis School of Fine Arts. Storytelling has continued to the present with a series of cigar boxes I am currently working on, each of which contains a different story or memory.

Both spontaneity and memory play a huge role in my work. My early memories are of my mother reading to me. Ever since then I have always had my nose in a book and have been actively engaged in reading. I vividly recall the time when I first knew what the marks on the pages I was turning meant. With excitement, I felt a whole new universe opening up to me.

Writing (written words) have a universality to them-not necessarily in the specific meanings of the marks- but rather in the beauty of the calligraphy itself. Various languages with varied ways of mark-making are all linear elements in my work. These marks communicate ideas, thoughts and feelings which are shared between peoples of differing cultures, religions and beliefs. They are not understood literally by everyone, nonetheless, my viewers are able to appreciate their grace.

Please tell us about your art.
My ongoing search as an artist has always been the dichotomies of a life lived with layers of the past as evidenced through memory. These issues continue to be expressed in my work. My artistic heritage is one of creativity. Both sides of my family are creative. There are painters, sculptors, photographers and weavers in my family tree. My mother and aunt were avid collectors of Asian art and both were painters. I have been greatly influenced by the shallow space and flatness that Asian art depicts. In my most recent series of encaustics I use Japanese text along with layers and layers of color.  Generally, my eye sees and is aware of line and edges first.

Materials often provide the inspiration for beginning a painting. Color, line, texture and visual layers are ever-present. Along with nature, I seem to gravitate to non-traditional elements one wouldn’t necessarily think of as artistic, such as the particular shape of a mark, the detritus left on pavement or in a parking structure, writing or scribbling remnants, the bark of trees, or the often roughed-up and peeling side of buildings.

I am enthralled by the process of encaustic – the medium I have been working in for a long time. The layers allow me to incorporate found objects and papers, and they also allow prior memory to surface. Encaustic makes it possible to communicate these interests into cohesive paintings.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
Defining success is extremely difficult. I  feel successful when I complete a painting that is visually interesting, one that allows the viewer to bring his own life’s experiences to it and to be able to relate to the piece. Of course, I LOVE to find a good home for my paintings and to have clients appreciate, desire and purchase them. I also feel successful when I am able to master a new difficult technique and to have the opportunity to study with creative teachers at workshops and classes.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Since I graduated from the Otis College of Art and Design in 1983, I have been recognized with solo shows and a bronze medal in painting given by “The Art of California” magazine.  My paintings can be seen on my website,   I have been included in the publication of several catalogues and “Studio Visit” magazine, as well as having earned two scholarships at the Santa Fe Art Institute. I have exhibited at the Institute for Encaustic Art and am in the permanent collection of the Museum of Encaustic Art, both in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Solo exhibitions in the Los Angeles area include “Solo Series of Five,” “Meditation,” and “Meditation II.”

I also exhibit currently with La Galeria Gitana in San Fernando and various other venues in the greater Los Angeles area, and with LAXWAX ART, a membership organization.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photography courtesy of Warren Garfield

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