Joanne Mattera, Silk Road 44, 12" x 12", encaustic on panel

I'm pretty sure anyone who is reading this is familiar with Joanne Mattera: painter, author, blogger, traveler, keen observer. For quite some time I have made a habit of checking in regularly with Joanne's blog, and my reason for writing this blurb is really to thank her for the quality of the information she makes available there. I am constantly amazed by the endless supply of energy she brings to the many facets of her endeavor, and by the generosity of her intentions on a daily basis. First off, I really enjoy her taste in paintings; and her blog is somewhat like an ongoing curatorial project, very intelligent, discerning and consistent. Her ability to zero in on paintings with integrity and depth is remarkable. Second, as a painter living 2 hours out of NYC with teaching & family responsibilities, I find it hard to get into the city every single month - let alone to Miami. But Mattera is somehow able to not only sustain the vitality of her painting career, but to be constantly on the go, reporting from ALL the fairs in Miami, and from San Francisco, and from Boston, and from Chelsea. I don't know how she does it, but I'm very appreciative of the vicarious experiences she offers.

Not to forget her paintings --- Mattera's recent show at OK Harris was an exquisite line of jewel-like encaustic panels. Titled the "Silk Road" series, these exotic beauties ooze sensuality in their lush surfaces and in their subtle undulating color. Each 12" panel features a different and distinct color situation created with horizontal & vertical glazes, masterfully woven like iridescent fabric.

Artists like Mattera are rare. What she does to feed her work and life: her ongoing research, observation, information sponging -- she willingly shares with us through considerable effort and time spent not painting. It is an attitude about community and the quality of life, about promoting an open flow of information in order to raise the bar of shared experience. Thanks, Joanne.