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Local artist to have painting grace cover of TOSCA magazine

Fri, Apr 12th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Arts & Culture

Artist Joni Finnegan in her home studio. Photo by Barb Jeffers

By Barb Jeffers

Joni Finnegan, an artist who resides in rural Lanesboro, Minn., has had one of her paintings chosen to be on the cover of the Twin City Arts and Theatre Magazine, TOSCA, which is an acronym for Theatre, Opera, Shakespeare, Culture and Art. The title of the painting which will be on the cover of the magazine is “Garden Retreat” and features the beautiful setting of a peaceful getaway spot filled with flowers that look so realistic their scent seems to waft out of the frame and into the air. The TOSCA magazine will also feature a story about Joni and her work. This is the first magazine cover for Joni which is quite an honor.

Joni began her life as an artist when her sister came home from first grade one day and had learned to paint profiles; she taught Joni and Joni never stopped painting. Joni describes her paintings as “representational landscapes and paintings of nature” and adds that she believes “our world offers so much beauty” and she shares that beauty with the world in her paintings.

Joni Finnegan works in both oils and watercolors. She begins with a small sketch on paper and once she is satisfied with all of the elements such as lighting and color she moves on to canvas. Joni enjoys painting “en plein air”, which in essence means painting outdoors in the open air, when the weather cooperates Painting outdoors brings with it certain benefits and also some challenges. Joni explains when painting “en plein air” elements can change rapidly, and the artist is painting wet on wet, “so everything has to be deliberate” she says. Joni states that painting outdoors teaches an artist to “look behind the scene” and see the “excitement of the moment” and try to capture it. In addition, “en plein air” painting teaches the artist to pay attention to “movement and motion” in nature which is something that doesn’t happen in a studio.

When Joni is unable to work outside due to weather conditions she can be found in her studio working from photographs taken locally and from her travels around the world. Traveling for art exhibits and shows among other reasons has taken Joni to places such as New Zealand, Argentina, Europe, and Ireland just to name a few. A few years ago Joni flew to Florence and attended a workshop in Tuscany which resulted in many glorious works of art.

According to her website, joanfinnegan.com, Joni’s painting of Tuscan Path won a Special Recognition Award in an international online art competition, Light Space and Time, which included artist submissions from 20 different countries. Additionally, her painting “Garden View” was chosen for the cover of a new novel entitled “In the Garden” which was published by William and Keats Publishing.

When not in her studio painting, Joni stays busy with many other art-related activities including attending and teaching workshops. When teaching a workshop, Joni will critique the artists’ painting and work with them on different aspects which could be improved. Joni explains that she likes to “communicate with the artists” before the workshops to know what level they are at which helps her to prepare. Joni also gives private lessons for those who wish to take their talent to the next level. She will also do commission work for those who have a special spot or view out their window they would like to capture forever.

Currently Joni is getting ready for the Bluff Country Home Studio Art Tour which takes place the weekend of April 26-28, 2013. During the art tour artists open their studios to visitors. Joni’s studio is wheelchair accessible. The Art Tour is a chance for visitors to see the artists in their own studios and environment, and for those looking for that “one of a kind” painting, they will be able to view many more pieces than an artist can typically bring to an art show.

Joni Finnegan says her most gratifying moments are when someone sees her art and “it speaks to them” which is easy to understand because her paintings invoke feelings which produce words within the heart of the viewer.

For more information about Joni Finnegan and to view her paintings visit her website www.jonifinnegan.com. To schedule a visit to her studio phone (507) 272-0254.

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