Blind contour drawing is an integral part of my art practice. During the COVID 19 shutdown of 2020, I started doing morning sketches of the flowers I bought to brighten my space and lift my mood.
In March 2020, as I was daily researching a different female artist in honour of International Women’s Month, I discovered Maria Lassnig’s body awareness paintings. I was impressed by how she related the inner feelings and sensations of her body to create meaningful and haunting images of the self.
This inspired me to experiment with my own version of body sensation drawing. My interest was in exploring how I perceived my own body shape. My focus was on drawing my body contours by sensing rather than seeing. And so, every morning I would take time to close my eyes and create blind contour sketches of my body. Using mixed media painting and collage, I translated these sketches into finished works that reflect the many levels of emotion and uncertainty of the COVID isolation period.
This work expresses the separateness, the aloneness, the disintegration of personal and professional life, along with the determined attempt to keep things together and stay healthy and connected.
The time in isolation and the process of the work helped me gain a better knowledge of myself, an increased self-acceptance, and a healthier attitude in general.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Originally from the Montreal area, Joanne Dero is a multi-disciplinary artist now working in Ottawa, Canada. She has a Visual and Creative Arts Diploma, with a concentration in Integrated Media Studies; a Graphic Arts Diploma; and a Bachelor degree in Education. She has also pursued independent studies in drawing and painting, mosaic and stained glass.
The artist’s work is based in an intuitive exploration of concept and mediums. Working in multiples, she experiments with new techniques and innovative uses of material. She uses symbols, texture, and dynamic compositions to create a unique narrative. Her artworks document her examination of issues such as aging, belonging, and memory.
Her works have found homes in Canada, the United States, and internationally.
© Joanne Dero