For number three in my series on creative spaces at home, I visit Vancouver’s Joy Hanser, full time commercial and studio artist.
Joy herself, her home and her studio speak of the storied artistic personality, one that thrives under sky lights in sloped ceilings, negotiates nooks and crannies housing unique objects, and flourishes amidst walls displaying varied artistic expressions.
She is undaunted that her creative space adjacent to her kitchen, boasts a washing machine, shower and a Jacuzzi tub. While others may call it a sizable laundry/bath room where she also paints, for Hanser, it is first and foremost “my studio,” where she simply moves paintings to access any of its facilities, and has done so for twelve years.
Joy enthusiastically describes her studio’s benefits as: “Numerous! I couldn’t consider working in a studio outside my home. If I am cooking, I can stop for a fresh look at my current work. If I am not happy with progress, I can close the door on it. I can come and go anytime.”
“All my art references are at home: books, photos, computer, objects, for access at will. Also, as I go about my home and find incidentals that trigger a potential for incorporation into my visual language, I can just tuck it into one of my storage bins.”
Joy’s location is beyond range for The Drift, the Vancouver East Culture Crawl, likewise Artists in Your Midst, but she is a member of ARTforce Collective, with whom she has exhibited and is considering showing with a group of her work-colleagues. She takes part in Artful Sundays at Britannia Community Centre, other community exhibiting opportunities and submits proposals to published calls for artists, so she makes only one space adaptation, that of meeting her clients at convenient locations for sales and discussions.
The commercial aspect of Hanser’s works include faux finishes, murals, movie set painting, decorative painting and commissions, but her studio work is her passion, where she primarily uses acrylics, and oil pastels to achieve her tactile surfaces on canvas. She also draws in both pencil and ink, does portraiture in soft pastels and paints into her collages. She started work on her In Transit series of paintings in 2008, where superficially, she talks about the environmental aspect of taking public transit instead of driving her car. More, “This theme has depth and teases me into exploring the transitory moment, the sense of quickly passing time.”
Broadly, Joy’s studio works vary in size from very small to thirty by forty inches, and she plans a thirty-six by forty-eight inch piece, that can be easily managed in her space.
As to whether there is family impact on her practice, Joy chuckles, saying, “There are many artists in my family. My father was a draftsman, my mother was a potter, one sister is a practicing artist and my daughter is a graphic designer, so it is support for, not impact on my practice.”
I find myself relating to Joy’s enthusiasm and her described situations. I see that it is more the attitude of the artist towards the work space, rather than the fact of size or dedication of space, that makes the difference in whether a home studio works or not. Joy’s does, indeed.