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Art & illustration

Joan Chamberlain

My earliest memory of art is the intense fascination I had for the way Michelangelo captured the flowing folds of a voluminous robe as it draped across a model's legs. How he coaxed the effect of supple fabric from a block of marble - cold, hard. rock - had me enthralled. That was the first indication I had that a blank slate could become something magnificent with the right tools, and in the right hands.

I started creating art very early in life, and never stopped. I've experimented with many mediums and been influenced by many accomplished artists in design, sculpture, printing, and painting. My main focus is faces and hands, but I rebel at being limited to any one subject matter. Honestly, any object that captures light and shadow in a way that catches my eye may become my next subject.

I create art daily. I take the inspiration I first felt studying the old masters and attempt to capture images that will inspire, inform, or delight. I find equal enjoyment working with pencil or paint, in large or small formats.

Like many artists, I have more ideas than time. That's the exquisite torture of art - the temptations of textures, tools, colors, shapes, stories - all begging for expression in a life that has a finite amount of time. That precious commodity, time, taunts all of us who create.

I recently retired from a 35-year career as a dentist. I was a pre-med major in college and often think the reason I switched to dentistry was the lure of all the nifty tools. Fortunately, art has plenty of nifty tools, too.