“Flowers within still-lifes are my main subject. The flowers are selected first, depending on the season and my mood, then the still-life is built around them. Many times I refer to the whole cycle of life with buds, flowers in full bloom, dying or dead remnants: life’s passages. The choice of open, voluptuous flowers shows exuberance and joy, while the addition of still-life elements are memories of life’s adventures, including my early love of the Dutch Little Master painters. Textural contrasts and intense color seem to be created by painting, while in reality they are built up with a complex series of small pencil lines, often with areas of checkerboard-squares (my trademark for backgrounds and shadows). The drawings seem precisely realistic, but are actually free-flowing interpretative drawings based on close observation of potted plants, freshly picked garden and wild flowers, leaves or other still-life elements.”
Joan E. Robertson is the former art curator for the Kemper Insurance Companies art collection, which specialized in artists from Chicago and Vicinity, and has judged or been juror for over 30 exhibitions. She has lectured on the Kemper collection and colored pencil drawings. After receiving a BA in art from Bucknell University and an MA in printmaking from the University of Iowa, she has been working in colored pencil since 1975. Robertson was President of the Colored Pencil Society of America’s Chicago District Chapter 103 from 2007 – 2011.