About Joan

Joan Uptain Watkins was influenced greatly by her parents. Her mother was an accomplished seamstress and a resourceful mother of five. Her father was an expert word-worker, builder and writer. Although formal art education was not part of her early years, creativity and resourcefulness were a way of life in her country home in Walker County, Alabama. 

Already a seamstress and generally artistic person, Joan discovered her true artistic vein when she began assisting a Ukrainian textile and watercolor artist during her son’s art class in 2004. Maria Antinov’s encouragement took her interest of art into an exploration of mediums until the butterfly landed in her own home art studio where she creates and teaches a handful of students. Her hobby of photography supports her art as she often uses her own photographs as a starting point for her paintings.

“I was always considered a butterfly by my parents, teachers and employers. My attention span was short and I flitted from one interest to the next, getting bored easily until finding another exciting project to rekindle my enthusiasm and passion for life. I enjoy seeking beauty in people and nature. I crave the warmth and inspiration that I glean from the world around me. I feel deeply, both positive and negative emotions. My expression with paint, pen or textiles is worship and thanksgiving to God for this enchanted life He has given me. There is no greater peace than when my hands are dirty with paint, or soil, or ingredients. I love creating, whether in the kitchen, at the sewing machine or at the canvas. I dream in vivid color of projects and scenes that I must sketch with pencil, brush or words. I must create and believe I was created to do so.”

Joan lives in Hoover, Alabama with her husband, two children and two cats. She is an avid collector of books, art and ideas as well as a preserver of family history through journalism, preserving and cataloging family photographs. She also enjoys volleyball, baseball and hockey...in that order. Football - not so much. 

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