Joan Chamberlain’s charcoal and pencil drawings capture details of light and shadow, conveying a 3D tactile feel to her artwork. Learn more about this artist by visiting her website.
In this age of digital media, I find a deep sense of calm in charcoal and pencil drawings. Charcoal on paper is my chosen medium. There is a warmth to simple chalk or pencil strokes – a direct connection to the artist’s process.
My choice of medium reflects a guiding principle in my life, the concept of editing. Recognize what is essential and remove the rest. It sounds simple, but it’s not easy.
I have always been attracted to realism in art. As a child, I had access to picture books full of paintings and sculpture. I was captivated by the sketches of da Vinci and Michelangelo – the studies of folds as a gown draped over the subject’s knees. I aspired to creating such depth and dimension with only a pencil.
My subject matter is hands, particularly those of chefs and others who prepare and serve the things we eat and drink. Cooking is theater and I want to capture the dance. What Edgar Degas did for ballet, I’d like to do for cooking.
Recently retired after thirty-five years as a dentist, I am newly committed to art full time. One of my goals is to elevate the imagery of the kitchen, and the mastery and magic of great cooking.
My love of food started at a young age, watching my mother. I watched her boil sugar and cocoa, drop a bead of the hot liquid into a glass of water to test for doneness, and magically produce a batch of smooth, rich fudge. Her mastery didn’t stop with sweets. She never had to make me eat my vegetables. In her hands they were always fresh and flavorful.
Another goal I am passionate about is creating “portrait” galleries in restaurants. I envision a wall featuring hand portraits of the executive chef, the sous chef, the sommelier, a bartender, a waiter, a busboy.
I’d love an opportunity to show how such a gallery can be an integral part of the ambiance, capturing moments that reveal the special flavor of that restaurant.
What goes on behind the scenes has always captured my imagination – in art, in life, in the kitchen. Mindful of my guiding principle of focusing on the essential, I’d like to bring the essence of the kitchen to life with my art.
In my mind, that essence is in the hands.