Joan Appel


My art is an extension of myself. As I work though my life, and am affected by the heights and depressions which life offers, my experiences are reflected in my art. The creative personality as such , is diversely influenced in the course of existence by circumstance. It is inevitable that these experiences and forces, reflected in the emotions, would be expressed in an artist’s creation. I paint what I feel, always projected onto what I see. I especially like to mix media, which echoes my life work of art and music.

The works of Helen Frankenthaler have been a personal inspiration. She said it best: “…consistent insistence on [your] own intuition is the sole rationale for [your] work…you can do anything, but since I feel that whatever you do, if you present it to yourself or the world as art, it has to be beautiful, and has to work…one hopes that every picture will be a new birth, a fresh experience within a growing framework…art is in many ways, what the artist who made it is about.”

There is an eloquence to working in the media of monotypes. The way I proceed I must work very fast lest the pigments dry before I can transfer them to paper. In my studio I do not use a printing press. I create an image with oil paints or printing inks on a thick glass plate using brushes and brayers. I subtract elements by wiping off paint or add them back in. I place prepared printing paper onto the image (rag Rives BFK or synthetic Yugo), apply pressure with an antique oak rolling pin, other implements or my hands and pull off one image. When dry, I sometimes add elements to the piece with ink, pastel or oil crayons.

Flow is everything. In life and in art. The real truth occurs when it comes spontaneously, without the drudgery of premeditation. I suppose that my philosophy of art is the same as that which I follow in life. Painting/living without prejudice allows for serendipity, without which no creative soul could exist.

I am both a professional musician and artist. I experience life as having order as well as disorder through sound and sight. I create art along with music. The execution of the painting therefore becomes a personal performance, as were my song recitals when I was singing professionally, the one difference being: I am not interpreting someone else’s poetry – I am creating my own in color and shape.


DeCordova and Dana Museum, Lincoln,, MA; School of the MFA, Boston;Musée de Thonon, Thonon-les-Bains, France; University of Maryland; Guilford Handcrafts Center, Guilford CT; Paier College of Art; Creative Arts Center, New Haven CT; Syracuse University

EXHIBITIONS (group and solo shows – prize winner in all)
Connecticut: Mt. Carmel Art League, Milford fine Arts Council, Guilford Arts League, Art Directors’ Club of CT, Munson Gallery, Gallery One (New Haven). Florida: Pinellas County Art Association, Key West Art Center, Benjamin’s Galleries (Ft. Lauderdale); Anderson-Marsh Gallery (St. Petersburg); Massachusetts: Concord Art Assoc., Duxbury Art Assoc., Scituate Art Assoc., South Shore Art Center, Copley Society, Boston Visual Artists Union, Cape Cod Art Assoc., Cambridge Art Assoc., Frame-up Gallery, Federal Reserve Bank-Boston, Monotype Guild of New England, Hingham library, Staircase Gallery – South Shore Conservatory, Fuller Museum, Brockton
Rhode Island: Newport Art Museum; Invitationals: National Women’s Exhibition, Galérie Triangle, Washington D. C.; Galérie des Fontes – Geneva Switzerland; Newport Art Museum – Newport RI; The Poly Arts Centre, Falmouth England

Cape Cod Magazine (2012); Art New England (2012); 60 Years of North American Prints (2007)

The Boston Printmakers; Monotype Guild of New England; Printmakers of Cape Cod; Coastal Printmakers; National Association of Women Artists; Cape Cod Art Assoc