Jo-An Frances is a Chinese Brush painter who is enthusiastic about sharing her craft with others and is thrilled to teach people who are new to this ancient art. Jo-An emphasizes the importance of learning Chinese brush-Sumi-e. For painters who enjoy watercolor, oil, and acrylic and wish to perfect their technique as they explore Asian art forms Sumi-e will help them master the brush.
One of her favorite artists is Van Gogh, He discovered the Sumi-e way to paint and even wrote about it to his brother Theo from Arles, France saying, “all my work is based to some extent on Japanese art."
BACKGROUND: Jo-An Thomas – Artist nom de plume ,Jo-An Frances
Jo-An Frances learned at an early age to appreciate a variety of different cultures. Born into a military family, she traveled to 45 states, Canada, and Panama before her 15th birthday. At age five she discovered her love of nature, art, and cultures when she lived on the rugged terrain of Alaska.
In 1985 she traveled to Hong Kong, China, and Japan where she became fascinated with the art of the Orient.
In 1986 Frances resumed her art career at the Cohasset, Mass. South Shore Art Center where she took courses in Oriental Brush painting with Ellee Avakian and found her medium.
For the past thirty-six years, Frances has been studying with such renowned Master Oriental Brush painters as Diana Kan. Frances has also studied with Master Zhuo HeJun, Master Wenda Gu, Henry Wo Yue-Kee, and Ning Yeh, Ph.D.
Frances was president of the Massachusetts Sumi-e chapter and is a member of The Sumi-e Society of America and the Sarasota, FL chapter, was a member of the South Shore Art Center and Hull Arts. She was a gallery artist at Hull Arts Gallery and was the 1993 President and Treasurer of Hull Arts and Copresident of the Hull Cultural Alliance.
Frances' paintings have been exhibited at the Norwell Science Center, Hull Federal Credit Union Bank, Hull Arts Gallery, The Quincy Arts Festival, and in U.S. Rep. Gerry Studds' Quincy, MA office. In 1993 and 1994 Frances demonstrated for the Damon School in Hull, was an "Artist in Action" at the Pembroke Arts Festival and was a demonstrator at the 1992 South Shore Art Center Art Festival. Today she teaches beginners classes in St. Petersburg, Florida.