This week’s Dan’s Papers cover, “Happy Holidays” by Jo-Ann Corretti, certainly captures the spirit of the season, a time that is both cheerful and colorful. The home and church could be any small town, U.S.A., although we imagine the scene represents either the North or South Fork. In this particular image, Corretti has pinpointed the essence of the setting, a quality she replicates with all her work. Consider, for example, how she conveys the mood of summer with her Adirondack chairs or vineyard views. Her depiction of local color is also seen in area barns and farmland, images that bring the venues to life.
Q: You’ll be busy this next month or so. What are you up to?
A: I will be having a show the whole month of December at The Book Revue (a book store) in Huntington and at the Fiedler Gallery in Greenport. I’m also selling my Christmas cards with holiday scenes.
Q: How about last year? You were busy then as well.
A: I got into photography although I always took pictures to use as references for my paintings. I call my photos “artistic photography.” I add or subtract elements, like color. The images become more vibrant in nature. People thought the photos were paintings.
Q: The obvious question: What will you be doing this coming year?
A: At the end of each year I get psyched about coming up with new ideas. It’s rejuvenating. For 2012 I want to take my photographs and do two or more overlays; with my paintings, I want to include objects and people.
Q: What do you find you like about photography?
A: Photography is a challenge. It’s fun to play with it, to try this and that. I don’t like to just do a photo and put it out there.
Q: How about painting? Is it as challenging as photography for you?
A: Painting is more challenging. You start with a blank canvas. It’s all you. I even went back to school and studied with an illustrator.
Q: What stuck with you from this instruction?
A: Figure drawing. Everything comes back to you; it becomes a part of you. My teacher would call me and ask me to come over to see his work and ask for my suggestions.
Q: Now that it’s winter (you do a lot of summer scenes) what will you do?
A: Some people don’t like winter; the snow is depressing for some. But I will be painting as usual. I can just look out my window and paint the snow.
Q: I know you like to knit and bake bread. You have manual dexterity, that’s for sure, which shows in your paintings’ use of detail.
A: I bake bread once a week; I haven’t eaten meat for 18 years.
Q: How about your children? Are they artistic?
A: My son and daughter are very creative. I feel blessed at this time of year. At all times of the year.
Jo-Ann Corretti’s work will be at Greenport’s Fiedler Gallery during December (207 Main Street, 631-477-4242) and at The Book Revue in Huntington (313 New York Ave., 631-271-1442).