Joy Stanley’s paintings are whimsical yet historical
August 10, 2021
All of her pieces are playful, mesmerizing and magical, flooded with vibrant colors.
Joy Stanley was at a crisis point in her art journey. Painting en plein air, outdoors, in the Macon, Georgia, summer heat, she was just miserable. “All of a sudden I didn’t care if those lines weren’t straight and I didn’t even care if those color notes weren’t accurate. All of the training and studying and hard work that I had done all of those years just trying to get things just right kind of went out the window because the heat was so oppressive,” she said.
A trip to New Orleans for a wedding changed things. Stopping at a gallery she was so intrigued with the artist’s fun and happy paintings. James Michalopoulos is known for his colorful and playful interpretations of New Orleans with their distorted perspectives.
Encouraged by her friend who said, “You can do this different approach plus you can do it in the studio,” it was then that she started having fun. “It has been the most exciting thing that has ever happened in this whole art journey of mine,” said Stanley. She began painting the town, Macon, that is, capturing its local architecture and soon followed with a solo show that was a sell-out. One of the guests at her show suggested calling her new style “whimstorical” since her paintings are the re-creations of well-known buildings, places or events that evoke fond memories or happy thoughts.
Future shows followed, providing affirmation for her new adventure. “I’ve been having so much fun ever since, learning not to take myself so seriously,” she said.
On a visit to her son’s home in Naples, she happened upon East West Fine Art at the Mercato one Sunday afternoon and was welcomed with a tour of the gallery. She had been doing some paintings of Naples and later brought them in along with the book of her paintings she had just published. “They said they’d be interested in having me in the gallery. The rest is history,” she said.
Paintings of Tin City, Naples Pier, Jane’s Café, Café Lurcat, Bleu Provence, Bayfront and more followed. With a “nod to Vincent” she put her own spin on Van Gogh twisting “Starry Night” over the Naples Pier.
Doing her own take on “Sunflowers,” she placed a crack in a familiar vase, leaking water. Her painting “Vincent’s Irises at Naples Beach Hotel” recalls the most recognized of his pieces.
All of her pieces are playful, mesmerizing and magical, flooded with vibrant colors. She credits her accomplishments to all her years of study with acclaimed landscape artists and workshop experiences in the Southeast, the West coast, Italy and France.
More of her work can be seen at East West Fine Art, 9115 Strada Place, Mercato, and her own Woodmerry Studio in Macon, Georgia, as well as joylynnstanley.com.