The Watermark Art Center presents work by artist Joan Cox as a part of the June First Friday Art Walk

Join us for the opening reception on June 6th from 5 to 7pm featuring a brief artist presentation at 6pm.  “INSIDE AND OUT”  will be open June 6th through August 2nd.

Gaining Perspective

Gaining Perspective 50 x 62 , oil newsprint, charcoal, pastel, enamel


These paintings, from the last five years, arise from observing the natural world, either while out in it or looking at it while confined inside by climate or circumstance.

DSC_6118A while ago I received several commissions to design stained glass windows, which required me to compose images in discreet packages defined by the necessary leading.  The practice crept into other work.  One series of paintings in this show is similarly refracted as if you are looking out at the world through windowpanes or lead lines.  

Summer Pleasures for Warren

Summer Pleasures for Warren


When my stained glass window fabricator got a cancer diagnosis during that dreary time of year when we’re all thoroughly sick of winter and aching for color and warmth, I painted SUMMER PLEASURES for him in an afternoon, imagining throwing open all the windows and doors and letting in the fresh warm air and the golden light of the longed-for season.  Another series grew from that.

My father’s death had led me to ponder transitions and transformations, to think about the migration of birds, and of looking down on the world from above as those winged travellers do.  Among the more obvious in this series, SWALLOWTAIL is also included.

SSP_7460A journey with friends last fall to Iceland, where being outside is necessarily an adventure, – the weather changes continually, the land is wind-swept and rain-washed, richly colored in subdued hues, and full of tectonic reminders that one is close to nature’s primal heart – inspired the paintings with neutral, fabric-like backgrounds slashed by gashes of color, as well as those studies in color with wax finishes.

Finally, there are pieces reminiscent of pebbles washed in a streambed, and of the sharp shadows of leaves crisply defined against white marl by strong sunlight.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I confess to having done these in Florida.)

SO – Those of you who have ached for the promise of the thaw and the greening of the land – (you know who you are!) – this show is for you.                               Joan Cox


photo by Steve Wewerka

photo by Steve Wewerka

JOAN G. COX was born in Connecticut and grew up in Chicago, but has called the Twin Cities home since her graduation from the University of Minnesota, where she majored in French and Art History.
At first, figures and landscape accounted for much of her work, fed by sabbaticals in England, France and Italy.
For the last decade she has moved into abstract and non-representational painting, a direction prompted by commission for stained glass windows. Grids, calligraphic marks, layering and texture have been features of this work, as has experimentation with a variety of materials. Lately, cold wax medium has become an important tool.
She works in a tent in the north woods, a carport on a sub-tropical barrier island, and in her studio in Saint Paul. She and her husband have two grown sons.
Along with her extensive exhibit history, Joan’s work can be found in private and corporate collections and has been carried in galleries in the U.S., France, Ireland and Italy.


More information on the First Friday Art Walk and other exhibits can be found here.