JoAnn Raines


JoAnn created art in a number of ways over the years, but felt there was a “watercolor painter within” that needed to be developed. JoAnn just loved the medium — its transparent luminance, the purity of color, the beauty of paintings she would see that captured her attention. She had often heard that watercolor was difficult — some saying, arguably, the most difficult of the painting media, but to her, it was the most beautiful. So watercolor it was.

JoAnn began to pick up a beginner’s class here and there — some good, some not so good. After searching out a number of these over a period of years, JoAnn eventually identified teachers whose styles and work she admired and from whom she wanted to learn more. She signed up for classes & workshops whenever she could. But it still hadn’t clicked how much she needed to work on her own. JoAnn would take a class and then wonder why she hadn’t gotten better by painting only while in classes. After all, we’re given watercolor sets as children; how hard could it be? JoAnn discovered that it is very hard!

Over the years, JoAnn only dabbled, feeling frustrated and discouraged by her lack of progress. At last, she concluded that she couldn’t merely dabble if she wanted to improve and get to a point where she might actually want to show someone else what she had done. JoAnn became determined to get better. So JoAnn put her nose to the grindstone and painted every. single. day. That was something she hadn’t done before because she thought, why paint alone making the same mistakes over and over again without a teacher’s guidance? But that is what it took to help get her over the blocks she’d encountered. Of course, there is always something new to learn, so she still pursues continuing instruction from new teachers as well as from her mentors who have been integral to her process, continually encouraging and generously sharing their knowledge.

JoAnn is rarely without a camera, using it to collect reference photographs from which to paint back in her studio. She also paints on location, usually in a sketchbook, in order to potentially use those on-site studies to inspire a larger painting in the studio. Rather than painting a detailed replica of a given scene, JoAnn’s goal is a looser, more impressionistic style — that is, simply painting her impression of a location.

Painting from the abundance of beauty, in the variety of landscapes and scenes where JoAnn lives and travels, is what most inspires her.

We invite you to come in to the Port Townsend Gallery and be inspired by JoAnn.