Adelaide-based artist Joanne Knott is known for creating striking, naturalistic botanical and coastal artworks. Like many artists, Joanne’s fascination with art began when she was young – “I have been painting and drawing in different mediums since I was a child,” she says.
After studying art in high school, Joanne studied science at a tertiary level. It was the interest in these respective fields, Joanne explains, that led her to begin creating botanical illustrations.
Joanne has developed her artistic techniques by “attending workshops and courses in drawing and watercolour” in both Adelaide and Melbourne. Upon moving to Adelaide in 2008, Joanne joined the Adelaide Botanical Art Group at the Adelaide Botanical Gardens, where weekly meetings allow her to continue to explore her craft. Joanne’s dedication to her art is evident; “I am painting and drawing in every spare moment,” she states.
Joanne largely employs traditional watercolour techniques in her works, explaining that while it is fluid and seemingly delicate, “it can be used boldly and with lots of energy”. In Joanne’s botanical paintings, the use of watercolour allows fluidity and movement to exist within a piece, whilst still maintaining “the controlled environment of botanical accuracy”. Joanne’s botanical pieces incorporate a variety of plant life, however she states that she is particularly fond of painting Banksias - an Australian wildflower that, Joanne states, “are bold and superbly geometrical”. Many of these works hold a personal connection for the artist – “most Banksias and Eucalypts I have painted were found on some type of drive or family holiday….so some of these paintings conjure up stories or memories”.
As well as her botanical paintings, Joanne creates beautiful paintings of some of Adelaide and SA’s favourite coastal destinations; “I love the freedom of the large washes when I am painting my coastal scenes, especially when using the beautiful summery colours.” Joanne has a particular affinity for her local beaches, including West Beach, Grange, and Henley (where you may have seen her paintings displayed at café 303 By The Sea). Joanne describes herself as a “coastal person”, sharing her love for the colours of our beaches and “how the South Australian jetties bring out something special in the landscape”.
As an artist, Joanne has experienced success in a variety of forms. Her artworks earned her “numerous prizes in several Australian Artist Magazine Challenges, resulting in work being published in the magazines”. For Joanne, a proud milestone in her artistic career so far was being accepted in and selling her work at The Art of Botanical Illustration exhibition (in The Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne) in 2016. Joanne was also presented with the unique opportunity to produce artwork for the cover of “Plane Tree Drive”, a recently released fictional work by esteemed South Australian author Lynette Washington.
Joanne’s stunning works and attention to detail are most certainly worthy of these successes. However, Joanne admits “I guess like most artists I am critical of my work”, and hopes to continue to further develop her skills in watercolour. Joanne’s goal for the future remains down-to-earth and humble – “there are still so many South Australian beaches to paint and endless Australian natives that I would love to illustrate.”
All images supplied by Joanne Knott.