Featured Artist JoAnne Tucker

JoAnne Tucker uses her background in dance to inspire her visual artwork. Enjoy her portfolio and see more of her work by visiting her website.




For over thirty years I was artistic director of The Avodah Dance Ensemble, a modern dance company which toured the United States.  Thinking about retiring from the dance company, I wanted another avenue of artistic expression.  I signed up for a life drawing class taught by Anita Stickel at the Arts Student League of New York City in 2003 and loved it.


Rose close up


I soon added classes at the Pastel Society of America with Maceo Mitchell. Although I only studied with these two teachers for a short period of time before retiring and leaving NY in June 2004, both of them profoundly influence me and I am most grateful.  In 2009, I spent 3 ½ months studying in Santa Fe with Anthony Ryder, an amazing teacher who introduced me to oil painting.


rose close up


In 2006 I began entering juried pastel shows and was accepted into the following shows: The Oregon Society for Pastels (Fall, 2006); The Kitchen Goddess Exhibition of the Colorado Chapter of Women’s Caucus for Art (Winter, 2007);  For Pastels Only, on Cape Cod (August 2007); 2007 “Shades of Pastel” National Juried Show of the Maryland Pastel Society; and The 2007 Colorado Pastel Society Mile High National Exhibition.


kitchen goddess dancer


My career with the dance company profoundly impacts how I approach my art.  I view myself as “dancing on paper.” Each picture I do represents an exploration in composition evaluated in terms of rhythm, dynamics, and line.

When I was a dance major at The Juilliard School, in the early 60’s Composition Teacher, Louie Horst introduced us to the importance of studying different art periods and using them for stimulation for dance studies.


Deep Ruffles


I am fascinated with the unique detailed patterns that exist when one looks closely at flowers and trees.


water with ripples


The Abstract Record Studies draw on the creative process I used as a choreographer. As a choreographer I began new dance pieces improvising to music. In the Record Studies I select a short music section and do quick spontaneous pastel sketches responding to the music with colors, lines and shapes.  I select the ones I like best and oil paint them onto a record mounted on a canvas.

I am currently showing my art at The Hillside Market in Santa Fe.


Canyon de Chelly


What are your goals?

  • Continue creating floral oil paintings
  • Continue to experiment with creating abstract record studies
  • Make my art available as decorative art using the dye sublimation process, i.e. putting images on tiles as coasters and trivets and on fabric for tea towels.






What are you working on now?

All of the above and a new series on the native cactus tree cholla for the summer 2013 Botanical Exhibition. I am one of 36 artists selected by the Santa Fe Arts Commission to participate.




What inspires you?

  • Seeing the unique patterns in nature.  Exploring on road trips with gentle hikes in the Western US states
  • Favorite artists such as Georgia O’Keefe, Van Gogh, Chagall to name a few.
  • Wandering in the many art galleries in Santa Fe and seeing the amazing new art being created.




  1. JoAnne: I am soothed at the very vision of your pastels. Flowers are my favorites to paint so I’m drawn to your soft edges as well as compositions. Thanks to ArtzyShark for sharing your art with me……..Judy

  2. Thanks.. appreciate your feedback. I love working in both pastels and oils! And it is nice to learn of other artists who are very much drawn to floral compositions.

  3. love your flower pieces! that middle flower just glows! i definitely see inspiration from Georgia O’Keeffe in your work!

  4. Thanks Kathryn. I love O’Keeffe’s work and am so glad I live in Santa Fe where I can visit the museum regularly and occasional drive out to Abiquiu visiting her house and ghost ranch and just being in that beautiful area.

  5. JoAnne, I can see the dance so clearly in your work. And… it’s beautiful. I like your story, too. The transition from one art form to another is an interesting process, isn’t it.


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