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JoAnn LaPadula


Artist:  JoAnn LaPadula

Genre:  Realism with abstract backgrounds

Motifs:  Fish, marine flora and fauna

Medium:  Watercolor


Her Art: 

LaPadula does not pursue her genre using traditional watercolor technique.

“I was not interested so much in the traditional watercolor style, so I attended a few workshops to find my own style,” JoAnn remarks. “I do not consider myself a traditional watercolor artist but would say I am more of a colorful abstract/realist.”

Those workshops were taught by nationally-known watercolor artist Lian Zhen, and the approach she derived combines negative painting with a blowing/spraying technique.

LaPadula restricts her palette to just three colors, which she mixes in separate containers or bowls. Then she pours out small amounts on a clean sheet of watercolor paper and blows the paint with a straw in different directions, spreading and mixing them on the paper. She only establishes the subjects of the painting after the background or “negative space” has been completed. Most of the time she does not have an image in mind when she starts. “The painting takes me where it wants to be taken,” she explains. When a negative space suggests an interesting or artisti­cally relevant shape, she paints in the subject with a traditional watercolor brush.

“I am thrilled to find people [here in Southwest Florida] who have been a great inspiration to me and found the support needed to begin my second career,” JoAnn says.



LaPadula is a member of the Alliance for the Arts, Florida Watercolor Society and Fort Myers Beach Art Association, where she also serves as director. Her work has been featured on the cover of the Sand Life Magazine, Gulfshore Life, and the Florida Watercolor Society online. Her work is collected in places as far as Guantanamo and California.

JoAnn is guest artist at Hirdie Girdie Gallery on Sanibel in March, 2021, and her composition Beautiful Menace (top image) was accepted into the Alliance for the Arts’ show at the Shell Museum on Sanibel.

Her work has also been featured by DAAS CO-OP Gallery in a pre-pandemic solo exhibition in February of 2020 and was paired with artist Sue Pink at a show in the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in May of 2019. JoAnn also won second place at a Fort Myers Beach Art Association show in 2019 for On the Vine, a painting of clustered sea grapes and branches.



LaPadula obtained a B.A. in Arts from the Buffalo State University, after graduating from the Rockland Community College. She worked in the field of graphic design for 30 years. Four years ago, JoAnn moved from the Finger Lakes Region of New York State to Fort Myers. Now in retirement, she has embraced the opportunity to return to her interest in fine arts, particularly watercolor.

March 27, 2021.

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