Joan LeMay is a portraitist and illustrator who is interested in pattern, a direct gaze, Byzantine halos, and the power art has to bring straight-up joy into everyday life. She loves painting people and animals in equal measure, and packs referential objects, color-based symbolism and other subject-specific elements into the busy backgrounds of her work in order to reflect the soul and life of the person or creature depicted.
Her work has been exhibited in galleries, bars, coffee shops, weird art spaces, restaurants and rock clubs across America--and once in Germany. She works with both editorial and corporate illustration clients, and has also created album artwork for multiple artists. She is currently creating artwork for the upcoming documentary film "It's Not A Burden", produced and directed by the Emmy-nominated team at Greenie Films. She is also, and always, taking portraiture commissions for pets, people and places, and continues to illustrate for multiple outlets from her studio in Santa Fe, NM.
“I’ve seen scarier.”--John Waters on Joan’s portrait of him
“I love the painting, it’s just perfect”--Amy Sedaris on Joan’s portrait of her
“I love this! Thank you!”--New York Magazine Art Critic Jerry Saltz on the unsolicited portrait Joan painted of him