The work of Joanne Helman is compositionally simple and direct, which serves to highlight her meticulous oil technique; applying multiple layers of paint with tiny brushes. Although this passion for art began at an early age, leading to studies in art and art history at Kingston College in London, England and a career buying art in the advertising industry, Joanne’s career as a painter did not flourish until later. Born in London England, Joanne and her family initially moved to Toronto temporarily, and later decided to settle there. It was not until after her children began to grow older, that Joanne was able to resume her artistic endeavors. Since then, Joanne’s work has been exhibited across the nation in galleries such as the Whistler Art Gallery, Trias Gallery, and the McMichael Gallery, as well as being held in the collections of corporations and private collectors in London, Toronto, Sydney and New York.
Joanne’s visual vocabulary is given expression in still life. Her approach is restrained, and often her subjects appear in solitude, or in small clusters of the same type. The restriction of subject and composition in her work heightens the emphasis on light and shadows that play upon the surface. The exaggeration of the scale of her subjects seems to refer mechanical enlargement, yet her approach to light and color make reference to old world techniques. In this way, Joanne marries the hard inspection of the modern world to the romantic sensibilities of times past.