Joan LeMay has always been magnetically drawn to portraiture. "One of the things I most love about creating it, is bringing something into existence that brings comfort and joy to the owner," explains the American artist and illustrator.
"I love that paintings can act as a salve. I love that they can illuminate spaces. I love that they can remind us of people, creatures, places or things we are thankful for that bring us joy. I love that they can act as a reminder of who we are and who and what we treasure."
Her latest work is all portraiture of beloved TV personalities, medicine, food, and artists eating food. Each piece is really pattern-heavy and is full of bright colours. All the work is gouache on paper. The common thread is, really, capturing and celebrating what helps us," Joan adds. "Salves, role models, familiar comforts. The medicine portraits are also celebrating the idea of taking care of yourself and also celebrating the medications themselves that help people who need to take them to function; the destigmatisation of that.
"Sometimes, TV is seen as something like a guilty pleasure; the work is celebrating that as well; there should be no guilt surrounding it."