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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Johanna Uribes

Johanna Uribes

Johanna Uribes Terrain Project

Johanna Uribes’ latest body of art work, The Terrain Project, provides a view of contemporary midlife women. This series of paintings with accompanying interviews shows the vitality and amazing resilience of these women.

“The Terrain Project focuses on the faces and viewpoints of midlife women. My intent is to show the beauty in the so called ‘imperfections’ of the aging face. I’m finding that midlife is actually a time of rebirth and renewal for me. It’s often when women finally decide not to settle for anything less than what we really want.”

Born in rural, upstate New York, Johanna showed not only an interest, but a gift for art at an early age.

“We moved often during my childhood and mostly lived in small town America. My parents finally stayed in one place when I entered middle school. This settling process allowed my creative talents to flourish. The rural landscape created an isolation that pushed me to concentrate on my artistic practice. Despite the striking, naturalistic surroundings we lived in, my interest always centered on the human form.”

Johanna’s first taste of formal art school began on arrival in Los Angeles. She attended the Otis College of Art and Design. She also worked as a graphic artist during this time which honed her design skills. Eventually, she moved to the San Francisco Bay area and completed her BFA at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Johanna’s work has evolved in many directions over the course of her thirty years plus of art making. The one constant has been her involvement with the figure. Even in segments of work where no recognizable body is present, the organic shapes within each composition, speak of the figure.

Johanna currently teaches drawing and painting at Notre Dame High School in Belmont, California.

Born to a small town in upstate New York, Johanna Uribes has always known she was an artist.

When I was a child I was constantly getting into trouble for staring at people. Yet, faces mesmerized me. Now, as an adult I have turned my interest in faces into an all consuming preoccupation that no longer gets me into trouble.

I begin each painting from the single point that most portraits, even the best ones, simply tell who you are, but for the process to be interesting to me, my portraits must also tell the story of who you have been and who you may become. I believe that everyone has at least one extraordinary story. I want to know that story and I want to tell that story through art, the extraordinary story of you.

Johanna got her first taste of art school on arrival in Los Angeles where she attended Otis College of Art and Design. Working as a graphic designer, she eventually moved to the San Francisco Bay area where she completed her BFA at the San Francisco Art Institute and later got her teaching credential at San Jose State University.

Over the course of her thirty plus years of art making, working predominantly in acrylic paint on canvas, her work has evolved in many directions. Yet, the one constant has been an involvement with the figure. Johanna works in the styles of Surrealism and Classical Realism. Her strength is in her use of meticulous detail and high contrast lighting, evoking a feeling of the Dutch Baroque.

There are three basic components to most of my work, the figure, the organic and Surrealism. My artwork often examines the connections between human and organic forms. When I begin a painting, my initial intent is to create a riddle within each piece, asking viewers to interact with the image as they decipher its meaning. Working in the style of Surrealism enhances this effect. My paintings actually begin as groups of ideas, usually arranged around a story, a set of symbols or an overarching concept. I tell my stories using symbols and my technique references the old masters of classic realism.

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