Joanne Stowell


My current work is a conversation about the often chaotic realities of motherhood. I am fascinated with the ways in which motherhood has been highly idealized in artwork throughout history. As a mother of two, I have come to realize that this perfection is, at times, rare and more often non-existent. I have no interest in pretending that being a mother has been nothing but wonderful. I choose to instead embrace the chaos. Further, I have no desire for my work to be pretty — because reality is not always pretty.

Through my paintings, I capture the daily realities of motherhood, completely un-idealized and shown in ways that others can relate to as well. I tend to work very large as I have found that the larger I work, the more of myself and my emotions I can fit into the paintings. The larger works allow my entire body to become part of the painting process and, through the paint, alleviate some of the stress of being a parent. My use of bold, black outlining combined with scraped, gritty surfaces and dramatic colors are in response to the highly idealized images of motherhood and also my way of better expressing the true chaos of the motherhood experience.