studio portrait


Meet the Artist

Painting, for me, is such a delight. I have always been a visual person, constantly entertaining myself with all that I see, getting lost in textures, shadows, light, color and details. With great patience, I try to capture the beauty of nature, every nuance of light and texture. My greatest thrill is that others can see the joy that I feel. My satisfaction comes, not just from selling a painting, but perfecting it to the very best of my abilities before it leaves my studio.


Joanne Tepper's still life paintings remind us that we don't need to go farther than the farmer's market or backyard garden to find extraordinary beauty. There is visual enchantment and charm enough to be found in a backlit rose petal or dark red plum. To see it though, we need to cultivate in ourselves the ability to really pay attention. Joanne approaches those special objects with curiosity and delight. Details matter! If it takes ten layers of paint to capture a certain nuance of light or texture, she is willing to do that. Her patience pays off. In Joanne Tepper's hands a fig isn't just a fig, a fruit to be devoured in a few quick bites and forgotten. We see it in a different way. She has paid special attention and, looking at her work, we are encouraged to pay attention too. We see the magic there!

When possible, Joanne enjoys setting up a still life in her studio and, at other times, photographing subjects at her home or while on her walks about town. She plays with various ideas for a composition, sometimes adding a backdrop of clouds or a landscape, until a very personal vision emerges. An artist's wood panel or canvas is prepared with many layers of gesso and sanded to the very smooth surface her detail work requires. She makes an initial light drawing, and then begins the labor intensive process of applying layer upon layer of oil paint and medium to achieve her trademark, glowing jewel-like surface.

Are there easier, faster ways to paint? Yes, definitely. Joanne Tepper, however, finds great personal meaning in exquisite craftsmanship. It's important to her to know that she put in her best effort with each and every painting, large or small. In a world where artists are often more concerned with commercial success than making great art, she refuses to take short cuts. It is a difference we can see in her paintings.

Joanne Tepper has honed her craft over the course of her lifetime. As a small child, she drew portraits of her family members whenever she could get them to hold still. She went on to earn a B.A. in Fine Art from U.C.L.A., and continued to refine her technique in workshops with such well known artists as Gary Pruner, Jim Estey, Gary Akers, and Arnie Westerman.

Her work has been recognized both regionally and nationally in many juried shows, garnering numerous prizes from professional art judges, (Best of Show awards, etc.) and the viewing public, (Peoples Choice awards). Highlights of these include being accepted by the International Exhibition of the American Watercolor Association in New York City (alongside work of one of her favorite artists, Andrew Wyeth), and to show twice at the prestigious Crocker Kingsley Exhibition at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California. Joanne Tepper continues to exhibit her work regularly in galleries and various show places in California. She opens her studio for the annual juried Sonoma County studio tour, ARTrails, each year.

Joannne Tepper maintains her studio in the old brick hatchery building in Petaluma, California, and welcomes visitors by appointment.