New Zealand artist Jo Rankin shares a selection of ethereal, layered abstract paintings. Find more of her art by visiting her website.
From my early school days I knew that I loved being creative. During my college years, art was one of my chosen subjects.
Leaving school and getting a sensible office job was what you did in those days, and so I put my dreams on hold. Then came marriage, children and homemaking which took priority over other things in my life. However, I did begin to make some time for me and took night classes; enjoying such things as pottery, sketching and pattern making. All of these explorations clearly showed me that I had a passion for colour, design, shape and texture.
In my early fifties I went back to school, enrolling in a two-year Interior Design programme. I loved every minute of it and after graduating I set up my own interior styling business.
Some years later my husband and I decided to make a move from city life to a small town life and ended up at a village situated at the northern end of Lake Taupo. We fell in love with this area after holidaying there quite frequently. Inspiration abounded as I was surrounded by colour and beautiful scenery. Thus began my journey as a painter.
I am largely a self-taught artist, but have broadened my knowledge and skills with many online classes over the years. I graduated from MoMA’s post war painting programme, the Artists Network University, completing both Abstraction and Abstract Realism, graduated from the Creative Visionary Programme and in 2019 I was filmed while painting by “Colour in Your Life.” They distributed my tutorial worldwide on YouTube and the TV Arts Channels in over fifty countries.
I still love learning, and although I have been a full-time artist for ten years, I continue to explore new ideas and techniques. Three years ago, I opened my own small gallery beside my studio. This was such a thrill—to at last have a space where I could show my art properly and in a professional manner.
Recently I have incorporated some mixed media into my paintings and I am really enjoying this process. Placing collage pieces and creating the design into my artwork can be challenging, but I love how I can sand back an image, paint over it and then wipe paint off. I often get unexpected surprises when I use this method.
Most of my paintings have many layers, giving them beautiful depth, and revealing shadowy shapes and marks.
Colour, harmony, balance and design—these and more—are points I consider when I am painting. I love creating art that has the viewers seeing areas that excite them, areas that tickle their fancy and areas that bring them peace and a quiet time; thus giving them an emotional experience.
This is the joy of being an artist, bringing happiness and pleasure to others through my paintings.