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Mind of the Artist, Part XVI: JoAnn Laboy

May 12, 2017

Mind of the Artist this month is First Place winner of the Capitol Hill Art League (CHAL) exhibit, "This Earth, " JoAnn Laboy! JoAnn has three pieces showcased in the CHAW gallery, each one delivering a sense of organic rhythm that our earth provides. JoAnn has graciously given us a look into the development of her work; expressing the benefits of allowing the artist's mind to take on the process of creating and exploring the freedom of artistic adventure! Getting to know the depth behind her pieces has been a true delight! We hope you enjoy our Artist of the Month, JoAnn Laboy, and stop by to see "This Earth" and JoAnn's work up on the CHAW walls through May 20th. 

"Sun Drops" pen and ink

While my interest in creating art seems to be part of my earliest memories, like making clothes and furniture for my dolls and later for myself, my studies and career did not provide many opportunities for me to purse the formal study of art. As a math major there was no room in my curriculum for art classes, and later the requirements needed to become a licensed psychotherapist gave me little time to dabble in art. However, once those academic goals were met, I did very often find opportunities to take a class here and there; to learn things like macrame and weaving in the 70s and 80s, flower arranging, jewelry making, interior design etc – buying all the materials, playing for awhile, only to put them aside a short time later.

Yet, I was always being drawn back to that creative space in one form or another. It was not until about 3 years ago, when I started to take classes at the Smithsonian in Exploring Abstraction taught by Delna Dastur, did I begin to experience the JOY of creating art. I have learned that it is the process of creating that is the most exciting aspect of this part of my journey. I am learning to detach from expectations – mostly my own – and enjoy the ride. My husband has “created” a space in our home on Capitol Hill where I can now spend hours getting lost in that process. Sometimes, I have a specific idea in mind, but most often that is just the start of a piece that can go in a very different direction- that becomes the adventure! Most of my work contains shapes and lines. I think this speaks to the Math teacher part of me – I loved teaching Geometry to high school girls, helping them come to believe they could do math AND enjoy it.

"Jazz" collage

I love to include texture in my pieces, both 2 and 3 dimensional pieces. Natural materials fascinate me. I have worked with flower petals, used tea bags, plant roots and fruit as tools and mediums to create various textures. And I am a collector of anything that captures my eye as a useful addition to a collage or assemblage.

"ECHO" mixed media-Charcoal Pastels

"Soul Mates" mixed media-assemblage

The issues I address working with my clients as a psychotherapist – emotions, relationships, balance, conflicts – are now
part of the tool bag I bring to creating my are pieces. And like goals I have my clients – to be present, to quiet the selfcriticism,
to be in the moment and to LAUGH, are ones I set for myself as I create art. Or better said, creating ART helps me
achieve those goals.