Joyce Gabiou: A Passion for Painting

I began my artistic career as a colorist in watercolor and eventually moved on to abstract paintings with inks on Yupo synthetic paper. Then, I began doing nonobjective paintings. I started by adding a little collage to my watercolors about 10 years ago. Initially, I wanted variety in my work; then, I fell in love with textures. I love to use dry brush over textured formats.

Since most of my work is nonobjective, I don’t sketch. Instead, I allow the work to evolve in layers. I paint over old paintings or mess up a piece of clean paper to strike out fear. Meditation, Reiki, and studying magazines, galleries, museums and other artists are all important to my process. I find that workshops are an excellent springboard for paintings and themed competitions help me to form ideas.

I use lost and found papers, rice paper, hand-painted papers, newspaper print, watercolor paper or gallery wrapped canvas, along with glue and soft body acrylics in my collages. I work mainly by intuition and I sometimes texturize the surface of the paper before applying paint.

A strong composition is as essential to collages as it is to any realistic painting. I tend to think in terms of shapes—large, medium and small—then line and color. Speaking of color, I generally use a limited palette of earth tones but I sometimes go back to strong colors when I miss having them.

Some of my collages are resolved within days or weeks.  Some take much longer to resolve—maybe months. I often work on more than one painting at once. (Even though acrylic paint has a quick drying time, collages don’t.) For as long as I can remember, I’ve always painted. I’ve always had a passion for it.

Titles of paintings in order of appearance: Off the Wall, Out of the Box, Mona Lisa Mania by Joyce Gabiou.

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