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“When I started painting and engaging with my artwork in a more serious manner (in the mid 1980’s), I was working with watercolour paints, participating in a few classes here and there. Then, I had my first child in 1987 and discovered painting with watercolours was not conducive to the interruptions I had, due to having a baby and trying to paint successfully, at the same time. Getting the timing right was everything, when it came to the process of working with watercolour paint and damp paper.

After I decided, watercolour was not going to work for me, alongside child rearing, I took up using ‘oil bars’ and ‘oil sticks’, working on sealed and primed paper or sealed and primed cotton canvas. Using the oil bars freed my approach and practice in the way I worked with paint. They also gave me the freedom to stop and start work, when required. Please refer to ‘Sacred Sheep’, 1998, exhibition , as all these works were created using oil bars. I mostly worked with my gloved fingers and hands and rags, with hardly a paint brush to be seen.

I really did free up my painting style with the use of the ‘oil bars’. At times I incorporated other media; charcoal, Conté crayons and chalk pastel. Please refer to my exhibitions ‘Art for Collection’, 2000  and ‘State of Mind’, 2002 , as the artworks in these exhibitions were created using a combination of oil bar/stick and other mixed media (as mentioned above).

Before long, in the early years of the 2000’s, I bought myself tubes of oil paint and many brushes. I sometimes incorporated in my oil paintings, paint from the oil bar. I particularly use them for drawing out and planning a work. My early oil painting supports were cotton canvas, but since 2004, I have been using linen. In more recent times, I have also worked on Aluminium Composite Material (ACM), laser cut to shape. To see my laser cut works on ACM, please refer to artworks ‘Greener Pastures’ and ‘Meat Sauce’, 2020, in my ‘Greener Pastures’ exhibition.

I adore the lusciousness of the oil paint and the way the paint ‘sings’ through the multiple layers, as the light shines through from the well-prepared support.”

Joanna Fieldes

'Make Way', oil painting on linen, 2017

‘The Back Benchers’, 1997, oil bar on canvas

‘Honey Pot’, combination of oil bar/stick and other mixed media, 2000

'Meat Sauce', oil painting on Aluminium Composite Material (ACM), 2020