Posted on Leave a comment

My Drawing Was Used to Illustrate a Berks Story Project

Well, for 2 seconds anyway, but still, it’s fun to have been involved!  It’s in a Berks Story Project interview with author/adventurer Cindy Ross, at!cindy-ross/cmzr.  It all began last February when out of the blue, I received an email by way of the contact form on my website:

Hi Joan,
I’m an independent multimedia producer in Reading, PA. I’m writing to ask your permission to use one of your life drawings in one of my forthcoming productions. It is a short video documentary, in the story-telling style of The Moth, about how a woman resolved her conflicts with her father over her choices in life. She mentions in the video that she worked for a number of years as a life drawing model. I would like to show a couple of examples of figure drawings in that section of the video, including this drawing of yours:
(top left)

The final video will be archived on our web site, The video will also appear on the web site of our local community access TV station,

Unfortunately, though, I cannot pay a license fee, but I would certainly give proper credit. The Berks Story Project is a personal project and a labor of love for me and my co-producer. We make no money producing the videos, and we don’t charge viewers fees to watch them.

Please let me know either way whether you will grant us permission to use the drawing.

David Walker

I was intrigued by the project, which their Facebook page describes as being about the extraordinary stories of ordinary people in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

The Berks Story Project is a growing collection of short multimedia stories about people in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Created in 2009 by David Walker, the project was inspired by intimate first-person narratives told on radio programs such as Story Corps and This American Life. Jane Palmer joined David in 2012 as co-producer. Our mission is to share the extraordinary personal stories of ordinary people in our own community. These are stories about love and war, tragedy, hope and aspiration, dreams lost and found — the universal themes that bind us all. We find them in every corner of Berks, wherever people are willing to open up about a compelling, transformational experience. Joined together like the patches of a quilt, the stories form an evolving narrative of this extraordinary place.

Cindy Ross writes a blog at  Here’s The Berks Story Project documentary about Cindy Ross, “What Cindy Wants”.  My drawing is shown for about 2 seconds at 3:06, along with drawings by other artists:

Share this:
Posted on 1 Comment

Plein Air in Fresh Air

Oil painting of the four trees in front of Nick's Restaurant at Basin Bayou, Florida -
Oil painting of the old fishing boat, Pompano, at Nick's Restaurant -

After a month of high pollen alerts, torrential rains have cleaned the air and a very chilly air mass ushered in an ideal day for plein air painting, with stark shadows and bright colors.  I met up with the Emerald Coast Plein Air Painters at Nick’s Restaurant in Basin Bayou, which is on the north side of the Choctawhatchee Bay, halfway between Freeport and Niceville, in Northwest Florida.  Shortly after we arrived, the neighbor released his penful of exotic chickens, and they provided distraction and amusement while we painted, the young roosters strutting around, trying their first crowing in cracking, adolescent voices.

I remembered what I had learned in Morgan Samuel Price’s workshop  2 weeks ago.  I worked with the intention of creating the illusion of space, with horizontal surfaces catching much more light and vertical surfaces much less, using values to lead the eye through the painting.

For my first painting, I was interested by the four trees along the shoreline, so I opted not to include the boat, “Pompano”, which stood on dry-land props between two of the trees.  My interest was that one of the trees was as orange as it was green.  After I finished it, I painted a second, smaller painting, this one of the boat.  Both paintings accomplished what I set out to do.

Share this:
Posted on Leave a comment

Acceptance into A+Art 2014 Top of the Class Juried Show

Oil painting of Tucker Bayou in warm tones, stylized from photo app,

I am pleased to report that both of the paintings I entered in the A+Art  2014 Top of the Class Juried Show were accepted.  It is a beautiful show of only 37 works, juried from 85 entries.  The juror and judge was Brian Jekel, an instructor at Pensacola Christian College.  It is an honor to be showing alongside the works of Susan Lucas, Charlotte Arnold, Melody Bogle, Heather Clements, Donnelle Clark, Lynn Wilson, Ann Welch, and Theresia McInnis, the award winners and honorable mentions, and beside the many other talented artists whose work was accepted, all members of the Local Arts Agency, Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County.  McInnis won Best in Show with ‘Bromeliads Gone Wild’, winning the $500 Trustmark Bank Award and a solo show of her own in 2015.  Lucas won the Livingston Financial Planning $250 Award of Merit, Clements won the Watercolor UPS Store $250 Award of Merit, and Arnold won the Hidden Lantern Bookstore $250 Award of Merit.  The show will be exhibited at the South Walton Center of Northwest Florida State College in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, until May 30, 2014.  Hours are M-F, 9:00 to 4:00.

Oil painting of Tucker Bayou in warm tones, stylized from photo app,
“Tucker Bayou”, 30 x 40 x 2, oil painting on gallery-wrapped stretched canvas

Oil painting of the dune forest and the rose-tinted grasses bordering Western Lake in Grayton Beach State Park, Florida
Grayton Beach Rosy Grasses, 12 x 36 x 3/4 framed oil painting on stretched canvas

Share this:
Posted on Leave a comment

“In Plein Sight”, in Emerald Coast Magazine

Emerald Coast Magazine, April-May 2014,

Joan Vienot In Plein SightEariler this year, I saw a news photographer at one of our painting sites, but I thought he was taking pictures of other artists.  To my surprise, the photo published is a photo of me, working on my painting at Oaks Marina, in Niceville, Florida!  The print version of Emerald Coast Magazine uses the photo for the whole page, with the story inset.  The story in digital format can be found at  Story by Diane Dorney,  and photo by Scott Holstein.

Oil painting of the view from the Oak Marina at Niceville, Florida

Share this: