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Art & illustration

Focusing on hands, tools, & techniques Inspired by the Kitchen

There is an effortless choreography to the movement of a well-run kitchen. It doesn't matter whether it's a Michelin-starred restaurant or your grandmother's kitchen - there's a beauty to the activity that takes place there. Maybe it stems from watching my mother cook every day when I was growing up, but I am hopelessly enamored with cooks and their kitchens. I strive to capture the essence of the skill, love, and generosity of spirit that are at the heart of a kitchen.

Joan Chamberlain

I have been an artist all my life, producing my first commissioned portrait at the age of 13. Self-taught, but influenced by many teachers in design, illustration, and sculpture, I have continued to do freelance work for a diverse clientele. My paintings and murals can be found in homes, restaurants, and businesses in Dallas, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Mexico.

In addition to my work as a freelance artist, I have licensed my illustrations and designs for wall decor, needlepoint canvases, and tile backsplashes.

When I'm not in my studio, I love to create in the kitchen. Not only as a cook, but as a collector of recipes. In 2007, I designed and manufactured a product called Recipe Nest® for organizing loose recipes. It was a successful venture, but I decided to put it on the back-burner when I lost my US manufacturer in 2014.

Throughout it all, I practiced dentistry for 35 years until I retired in 2016.

Member: Colored Pencil Society of America, International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Influences

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.

I found an equal fascination in two-dimensional works - the thick, luxurious, satin gowns of Renaissance paintings. I knew this was satin, not cotton or velvet or wool, by the seamless brushwork and placement of highlights and shadows. I was moved by the mastery of the medium.

I strive to capture those same nuances of highlight and shadow in my studies of kitchen tools and textiles. After experimenting with many mediums over the years, pencil and charcoal on fine quality bristol paper still capture all of the impact and dimensionality that I seek.