JoAnn Peralta, as a very young girl, was inspired by paintings that sparked her creative inner spirit. "My kindergarten teacher told my mom that I was going to be an artist." Peralta found Vincent Van Gogh paintings affected her in such a deeply aesthetic way that she began to pursue oil painting and drawing on her own. "There was never anyone really encouraging me to do this. I just knew I had to do it." Peralta adds, "As a teenager I would hang out at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena and take in the beautiful fine art while studying the color, design, and strokes of the masters". Peralta didn't receive artistic training until her early 20's when she received a full-scholarship to Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, California, which she attended for four years as an illustration/fine arts major.
Thereafter, Peralta worked as an illustrator for eight years, working for book publishing companies as well as doing video covers and magazine cover/illustrations. She garnered technical training from painter/husband, Morgan Weistling, whom was already an illustrator at the time, doing mostly movie posters.
Peralta's path led to a desire to pursue fine art and ultimately representation at Trailside Galleries, Scottsdale, AZ and Jacksonhole, WY.
In 2010 Peralta was invited to exhibit at the Master's of the American West Exhibition and Sale held annually at the Autry Museum, in Glendale, CA. In 2011 she enjoyed a sold out show and looks forward to exhibiting next year. She is also working on a showcase of works for Trailside Galleries to be announced sometime next year.
Artistic influences include (but are not limited to) Joaquin Sorolla, Vincent Van Gogh, Clark Hulings, and Anders Zorn. However, her master teacher and the person she credits with pushing her to a higher level of excellence is her ever-patient and loving husband, Morgan Weistling. She also credits her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ with giving her this talent and for making the direction she should take with her art obvious to her.
"There were always signs along the way and I allowed them to lead me to this divine appointment with destiny". Among other "divine appointments" was her marriage to Morgan Weistling as well as two daughters. "My family is my top priority, which is why I haven't been able to teach just yet. As my five year old progresses and matures, I'm seeing many more opportunities take shape. I plan on taking advantage of those opportunities. I feel my work just keeps getting stronger and I don't plan on resting but ever learning and striving for excellence!"
Publications include Art Business News Magazine, International Artist, Southwest Art, and Western Art & Architecture magazines.
Her work also appears in How Did You Paint That? 100 Ways to Paint Your Favorite Subjects, by International Artist magazine, and is in the private collections of Michael Chang, tennis player; Raymond Cruz, actor, and Beth Maitland, actress.
Homage: "My Grandmother's Story"
JoAnn Peralta's inspiration for her artwork springs from her admiration and deep bond she had with her grandmother, Anita Peralta. She paints under her surname to pay homage to her. Both sides of Peralta's parents' lineage come directly from Spain, the northern and southern areas, as well as from Italy. The families eventually migrated to Mexico and then to the U.S. Anita arrived in California along with her husband, Ramon, in the early 20's. They established a meager living from itinerant farm work, picking seasonal crops and traveling via bus to those sites. When their family grew they endured this life until it became too difficult for Anita to continue. "My mother has memories as a little girl of being in the fields while her mom picked walnuts. It is my belief that my grandmother's work ethic deeply influenced my mother and in turn each of her children because we've all strived to become the best at what we do. My father is no different. I'm still on that pursuit."
Early on, Anita also decided to become an American citizen, being grateful for her new country that accepted her and afforded her a better way of life than the one she had left. She studied hard and passed her test. She also became politically active in her community as well as involved in her church. She was a deeply, devout religious woman whom exhibited her faith through works. "She would seek out her neighbors to vote on election day telling them they should thank this country they live in by participating in the election process and then she'd turn around and clean the church facilities and make meals for the poor. I carry a lot of my grandmother's gratitude for my birth country as I believe the United States is founded on principals I can believe in and love to uphold. I also have a deep faith that allots me the sanity to continue to pursue my dreams while carrying a full plate of many responsibilities", Peralta adds.
"Many of my paintings of field workers try to exhibit their hard work ethic and I am inspired by my grandmother's sacrifice that allows me to be where I am today. My family investment doesn't pay tribute only to the field work experience however, but to the culture that helped shape my grandmother. Both sides of her parents were Spaniards, one being full Italian, and they migrated to Mexico and became a melting pot of cultures . I'm capturing moments of cultural experiences as well as the beauty of what helped shape my families, namely my grandmother, and ultimately me. After all, I am my grandmother’s granddaughter !, " Peralta states with a smile.
"Even though my grandmother passed away some years ago, her influence made a strong impression on me, even to this day, as you can tell. Grandparents play a pivotal role in the lives of their grandchildren and though many pass away before ever fully getting to see how their presence and love influenced their grandchildren, they can rest assured it will", ends Peralta.