After an unfortunate series of difficult life events, Jo discovered painting & photography. They are art forms she adores. To date, her most memorable experience has been seeing a lady moved to tears of joy by one of her pieces of work. To be able to create art that moves people in such a beautiful way is a phenomenal gift and it is why Jo creates. Creating art is Jo's "happy space" and she finds it to be amazingly satisfying. She has a studio at the Wanaka Arts Centre and also teaches watercolour painting and other art classes to adults & children locally and in other locations around New Zealand.
Jo takes pleasure in the little things in life, and is naturally inquisitive, often taking photographs to paint from or as art in their own right. She uses high-quality fine arts paper and top of the range paints & materials. This ensures a beautiful finish on her art. Jo is drawn to the watercolour and alcohol ink mediums as they are difficult to control and challenge her perfectionist nature. Although some artists dislike these mediums for this reason, Jo enjoys the intricacy of them.
In 2022 Jo completed a successful workshop tour of Tauranga and the Coromandel Peninsular area followed by a five-week residency with John & Allison Brebner at Homeprint. During her time at Homeprint Jo focused on hand printing, lino & wood carving and letterpress, which are mediums she also loves. Engrossed by the process of combining blind printing (embossing) with watercolour, Jo really enjoyed the challenge of fine tuning her work, as the obstacles she encountered were far more multifaceted that she had experienced to date. However, from this process some very unique art has emerged.
Later in 2022 Jo was granted two separate scholarships to study art and commenced her studies in April 2023. Happily, Jo has been be to able to remain in Wanaka while she undertakes her art studies, and remains active in the local community.
Jo is currently in the process of moving towards earning a full-time living from art & teaching, however she is also passionate about making art available to everyone, no matter what their financial position. For this reason, Jo has been the driving force in setting up Art for All, a not-for-profit group, with the goal of facilitating workshops for the community at a reduced cost. Thanks to the generosity of the Creatives in Communities Scheme by Creative New Zealand (administered by the Central Otago District Council) she will be running six beginner’s watercolour workshops for the local community in mid-2023 at a significantly reduced price.