Picture the face of a child in a car window, wide- eyed and hungry for eye candy: a fancy home, a vibrant landscape, a monument that catches the light in a way that makes it glow. Joy Makon still seeks with the eyes of that child on family trips, thrilled by the unexpected. The watercolors in What I Looked At Today are the result of “visiting spectacular places...the surprise of sunlight and shadows, breathtaking reflections on water, the interesting person who casually walks in front of me.”
In her first solo show at 440 Gallery, Makon exhibits paintings of outdoor locations in New York City, the artist’s Brooklyn backyard, and in Nova Scotia and France. Patiently executed in her studio over several weeks time, these realistic images do not record a location so much as capture and distill the emotional intensity of her initial riveting impression. The broad vistas and intimate scenes are painted primarily on heavy-weight Arches paper in a traditional watercolor technique that uses no white paint, allowing only the white of the paper for highlights.
Joy Makon’s work has been shown in juried and gallery shows, including the American Watercolor Society and the Adirondacks National Exhibit of American Watercolors. At the Salmagundi Club in NYC, Joy received the Thomas Moran Memorial Award for Watercolor in 2018 and the Mario Cooper Memorial Award for Watercolor in 2019. She has been recognized by the Art Directors Club, Society of Publication Designers and the Society of Illustrators, for her work as a magazine art director. She has a BFA in graphic design and photography from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, where she studied with John Moore, Stanislaw Zagorski and Joseph Scorsone.