Reflecting on Life as an Artist
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When working on a piece, the Barrie artist is completely engaged in the process from beginning to end.
As an artist, Appleby has created pieces in oil, acrylic, watercolour, pastel and graphite. She frequently gets the urge to experiment with different mediums and techniques.
“I like my work to stay fresh and exciting so changing my approach and media keeps it that way,” she said.
A common thread of her work includes reflections, particularly water reflections and the interplay of light and shadow.
“I am drawn by certain colours or colour combination particularly in abstracts, and along with the drama,” she said. “I try to have at least one quiet area in my painting.”
Growing up in the seaside town of Poole in Dorset, England instilled in her a love of the water – from the way it moves and flows to how it interacts with nature.
“It seems I spent a large part of my youth peering in rock pools and was more fascinated by the water playing on the stones than any sea creature that might be lurking there,” she said.
Appleby moved to Barrie in 1986 with her family.  “The city is in such a great location, not far from Toronto and equally not far from Georgian Bay where we enjoy exploring the beautiful islands and inlets in our sailboat. Water you see … can't get away from it.”
Her subjects range from traditional to abstract. “If I am working on a more realistic subject or one of my illustrative pieces, I take great care with the planning. The base is the most important, then everything else seems to follow. My approach with abstracts is slightly different. I still aim for good structure and composition but it's more fluid and things can change on the fly. A lot of happy accidents can lead to something totally different.”
A lifelong artist, Appleby fell in love with art in high school. “My art teacher gave me the tools and permission to do my own thing. It was very liberating,” she said.
Appleby eventually studied art at Georgian College. “My tutors, in particular Marlene Hilton Moore and John Hartman, were very enthusiastic and encouraging,” she said.
Appleby is a member of the BaySide Artists. The artists have a permanent wall at the Edge Gallery on Dunlop Street and exhibit together at many locations in and around the Barrie area.  
You can also catch her work on display at Mom's Restaurant and the Barrie Art Club. For more information, visit jo-appleby.artistwebsites.com.

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