While this week’s Dan’s Papers cover artist, Jo-Ann Corretti, has been painting full-time for 30 years, her scenes of Long Island seem as if they are created with fresh eyes, perhaps from a young person’s perspective, or from someone who is discovering the area for the first time. We should also point out that most of Corretti’s images share another common element.
Consider Sag Harbor’s American Hotel, North Fork’s Love Lane, South Fork’s Lumber Lane or the cover’s Adirondack chairs. Many objects are placed on a diagonal, giving the composition a three-dimensionality and depth. There is also a matter of the picture plane, as we wonder what lies beyond the actual image.
Q: What were you attracted to when you painted the chairs for the cover?
A: I love the little details of the chairs. The rust running down, places where the chairs are weathered – details that make them come alive. I also like the idea of summer, which represents beauty, relaxation.
Q: What are you looking for generally with your paintings?
A: I like to paint nature and man-made structures together, like the beach with chairs, so that the total piece is one of beauty. As an artist, I have a responsibility to create beauty. I also hope my paintings would brighten a room, bring happiness.
Q: What else is your intention?
A: I call my work “personal art.” I hope my paintings bring back memories of favorite places.
Q: What are some of your favorite places?
A: Montauk, Fire Island, Shelter Island. I’m always taking pictures wherever my husband and I go. Looking at my paintings, I remember everything about the place, even where we went to lunch.
Q: What do you look for when you’re out exploring these places?
A: I love hiking and finding little things, little spots; just the way a tree limb is hanging.
Q: So you have a personal relationship with your paintings as well. What else do you mean when you say you do “personal art?”
A: Being an artist is not just painting pretty pictures. I have a personal, lifetime relationship with the owners of my paintings. When I see the owners, they give me pictures showing where my work is hung; I remember when I delivered one painting, the people invited me in for spaghetti and meatballs. I think my energies are literally in my paintings. Every thing is energy. That’s why I stay attached to people who have my art.
Q: Besides establishing a personal connection with your owners, do you have a relationship with certain seasons?
A: I love winter; it’s so magnificent the way snow clings to trees, the shadows on trees. But I love every season. At the end of each season I’m really ready for the next one.
Q: How did you start painting in the first place?
A: I was always creative, but my career just happened, one day at a time.
Q: Were your parents artists?
A: Both parents drew; they did sketches that they put in little portfolios.
Q: Your art is so positive, and you seem like a very positive person, too.
A: If you love what you do, you’re positive.
You may contact the artist on her website, www.joanncorretti.com, or call her at 631-786-3467. Her work can be seen at both Greenport’s Fiedler Gallery and Studio East Gallery.