Joann and Bruce Couch Exhibit
May 4, 2021 @ 12:00 PM - June 30, 2021 @ 3:00 PM
Painter Joann Couch trained at Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Fla., and continued her formal education at North Carolina State University, and later, Meredith College. Joann worked as a graphic designer, illustrator, agency creative director and art teacher prior to becoming a full-time painter and illustrator.Her work has been featured in businesses, organizations and art galleries throughout North Carolina, and is included in permanent collections at Duke University, SAS, IBM, Rex and Duke Hospital and NC State Government.She has won numerous awards for her work, including a North Carolina Regional Artist Grant
My paintings are a personal reflection of how I see the world around me. Where others rely on lines and muted tones, my work is dominated by dramatic color and bold shapes. These are my tools of choice for capturing human emotion. The works of Matisse, the Fauves and the Bay Area Figurative School painters, as well as my early instructors at the Ringling School of Art, had a strong influence in shaping my approach. But it is my own emotions and feelings about how we interact with the world around us that fuels my work. I have a fantasy about the world, and when reality matches that ideal, my work embodies happiness. In other instances, I’m expressing my anger and sadness, and attempting to create a stop-action feeling, similar to the photographs from which I begin my work, so you will pause, consider and reflect.The movement of my own hand and body are the motivating energy behind my acrylic, pastel and charcoal paintings. Propelled by my feelings and emotions over my subjects, my work often reflects an immediacy and spontaneity. Large-scale canvases give my fingers, landscapes and other subjects room to move and exist. While my figures are fairly realistic, my focus is on their expressive quality, as displayed through bright colors, or strong contrasts of light and dark, and a casual looseness. Often, I use my hands to take away or put back so that the final form exhibits an improvisation and fluidity; all at once, my paintings are figurative, expressionistic and impressionistic.My newer work focuses on my feelings about how we live in this world and our evolution. Much of my work showcases the brilliant beauty in nature — the common ground connecting us to each other and to generations before and after us. Underlying all of my work is a sincere optimism and basic faith in our beauty, society and humanity.
Bruce Couch grew up in Virginia and received a BFA in a Commercial Art and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1967. Bruce has worked as an illustrator, photographer, art director in various ad agencies. He has owned B. Couch graphics since 1980. Working in mediums including oils, acrylics, pastels, and charcoal, his subjects vary from Blues musicians, vintage vehicles, and animals. His influences are Franz Kline, Impressionist painters, John Held Jr, Rick Bartow, and Diego Rivera – among others.