COLLECTION OF THOUGHTS – JO C WILLEMS

  • “About my writing, it is very much a part of my work. As I paint I often jot down thoughts on my drawing board and then when the piece is done make note of what that was before it is lost in the muddle of the next project.”
  • ” Ah the joys of being old….lots of art, lots of wisdom.”
  • “Along time ago after I completed a MFA at UC Irvine I made a decision to not pursue representation in the big LA galleries because of the dilemma of how to maintain artistic integrity while under the pressure of social whim. Tony DeLap https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_DeLap my adviser at the time showed me a delicate sculpture of one of his magic tricks then pointed to one of his wall pieces and said “this is my art, and this is what I make for the galleries.”  It was a profound lesson which gave me the courage to turn away from the LA art scene and ‘go for a walk’, a very long walk, in fact many of them. For three decades I simply pursued my art without any input or interference from the outside art world.”
  • Am I nuts?….well I am an artist. “
  • “Gouache is one of the most ornery and wonderful paints ever invented. Such a challenge. I use layers of paint and each layer bleeds up to the next so I never know what I will get. It has taught me how to paint in the way Matisse wrote, ‘to liberate the paint in the expression of the artist.’ Gouache made me work with the paint, surrender to it, rather than the perfect control I had with catercolour. Magical way to achieve randomness which is so hard for the human mind to do because we are so prone to organization.”
  • I am enjoying writing about my work this way, it is like rebuilding a connection with parts of myself that had been set aside.”
  • I have been as much a writer as a painter. They seem to go hand in hand really, like mathematics and music. “