While this week’s Dan’s Papers cover artist, Jo-Ann Corretti, has been painting full-time for 30 years, her scenes of Long Island seem as if they are created with fresh eyes, perhaps from a young person’s perspective, or from someone who is discovering the area for the first time. We should also point out that most of Corretti’s images share another common element. [expand]
Consider Sag Harbor’s American Hotel, North Fork’s Love Lane, South Fork’s Lumber Lane or the cover’s Adirondack chairs. Many objects are placed on a diagonal, giving the composition a three-dimensionality and depth. There is also a matter of the picture plane, as we wonder what lies beyond the actual image.
Q: What were you attracted to when you painted the chairs for the cover?
A: I love the little details of the chairs. The rust running down, places where the chairs are weathered – details that make them come alive. I also like the idea of summer, which represents beauty, relaxation.
Q: What are you looking for generally with your paintings?
A: I like to paint nature and man-made structures together, like the beach with chairs, so that the total piece is one of beauty. As an artist, I have a responsibility to create beauty. I also hope my paintings would brighten a room, bring happiness.
Q: What else is your intention?
A: I call my work “personal art.” I hope my paintings bring back memories of favorite places.
Q: What are some of your favorite places?
A: Montauk, Fire Island, Shelter Island. I’m always taking pictures wherever my husband and I go. Looking at my paintings, I remember everything about the place, even where we went to lunch.
Q: What do you look for when you’re out exploring these places?
A: I love hiking and finding little things, little spots; just the way a tree limb is hanging.
Q: So you have a personal relationship with your paintings as well. What else do you mean when you say you do “personal art?”
A: Being an artist is not just painting pretty pictures. I have a personal, lifetime relationship with the owners of my paintings. When I see the owners, they give me pictures showing where my work is hung; I remember when I delivered one painting, the people invited me in for spaghetti and meatballs. I think my energies are literally in my paintings. Every thing is energy. That’s why I stay attached to people who have my art.
Q: Besides establishing a personal connection with your owners, do you have a relationship with certain seasons?
A: I love winter; it’s so magnificent the way snow clings to trees, the shadows on trees. But I love every season. At the end of each season I’m really ready for the next one.
Q: How did you start painting in the first place?
A: I was always creative, but my career just happened, one day at a time.
Q: Were your parents artists?
A: Both parents drew; they did sketches that they put in little portfolios.
Q: Your art is so positive, and you seem like a very positive person, too.
A: If you love what you do, you’re positive.
You may contact the artist on her website, www.joanncorretti.com, or call her at 631-786-3467. Her work can be seen at both Greenport’s Fiedler Gallery and Studio East Gallery.