Joanne Armstrong has specialised in equine portraiture in oils and undertaken many private commissions for clients in the Ireland and the UK. In 2001 she was the youngest artist selected to exhibit at the International Salon de Saumur, France. Her painting of Irish Champion Hurdler Istabraq was presented to the top Irish rider at the European Eventing Championships in 2003. She exhibited at the Society of Equestrian Artists’ Silver Jubilee Newmarket exhibition in October 2004. She has also exhibited with the Society at Christie’s and the Mall Galleries, London between 2001 -2009. She was promoted to Associate Member of the Society of Equestrian Artists in 2004. We caught up with the super talented Joanne…
What makes your product unique?
I specialise in oil paintings, limited edition prints, greetings cards and cushions, featuring domestic animals, farm animals and wildlife. I wok to commission a lot of the time painting people’s own animals – my style is sensitive and realistic while still being ‘painterly’ in my approach which lends itself well when achieving a true likeness of the animal.
What inspires you as an artist/maker?
I am inspired when viewing the work of artists such as equestrian painters Stubbs, Munnings and Susan Crawford. I am also inspired by painting the rich local wildlife that surround us such as hares, stags, puffins and owl. When I am asked to paint someone’s own dog, horse or cow I really enjoy meeting the animal and getting to know its character. I love the challenge of bringing that animal to life on canvas. I believe the eyes are the most important part of the animal to capture.
I started painting dogs and horses while still at school and was encouraged by my aunt who saw a talent and asked me to paint her horses. This led to many more commissions and a place at the School of Art and Design (University of Ulster) graduating in 1999. As well as my aunt I was very fortunate to have a wonderful mentor in Roy Miller, a leading equestrian artist who was a great inspiration to me in my early years of establishing myself as a professional artist.
Why do you think it’s important to keep local?
I think people increasingly like to know about the creator of a product/artwork as it makes the shopping experience so much more personal and meaningful. There is also the possibility of meeting the artist/maker in person and have the opportunity to ask questions about the creative process. There is an attraction in investing in a one off piece that is produced with great care and skill while at the same time supporting a local small business.
What motto do you live/work by?
Have courage and be kind.
Visit joannearmstrong.net home to see a full gallery of their work.