Emotion is a critical component of the paintings being exhibited by Jo Dounis at The Phoenicia Malta in an exhibition titled Reverie. These paintings are very much a reflection of her thoughts and preoccupations, but primarily, her emotions. After all, our brain always puts emotions before any rational thoughts.
When it comes to executing her paintings, Jo starts off by prepping her canvas. She creates texture that adds not only interest to her compositions but also three-dimensionality. There isn’t necessarily always a straightforward plan at this early stage; her adeptness and experience with the medium allow for flexibility.
She then paints in mixed media over the canvas and the texture that she has created, and, in the process, she is pushing the boundaries of what a painting should be; her art is more than just a flat canvas. Not merely two-dimensional.
She is very much inspired by the infinity of our universe and nature. That is her starting point. But the result, what we see, is not a fidelity to nature. There is a lot of imagination that comes into play in creating these artworks. And experience too.
Dounis’s experience means that she does not shy away from large canvases such as those that she just completed for Aalto, a new restaurant in Wied iż-Żurrieq. This was a task that she accepted despite the challenges it posed. The result is that her paintings fit in so well with the restaurant’s interiors that are contemporary. And one must add that Jo’s paintings also fit in well in The Phoenicia Malta’s Palm Court Lounge interior too, one that is more classical.
Imagination is boundless and important because Jo doesn’t adhere to what she sees right before her eyes. Rather, she allows her creative powers to recreate scenes from her mind’s eye.
There is a variety of colour schemes presented in these paintings that we can call landscapes, of which some are more recognisable than others. Some verging completely onto the abstract, with a few yet meaningful strokes of the brush.
Jo is an admirable, self-made person who has come up with a very individual aesthetic.
I invite you to have a close look at these compositions and appreciate the texture and colour, of which there is often much more than the eye can initially see. Layers of pigment compose the scenes and expertly capture light that is another essential component of this new collection of paintings by Jo Dounis.
Reverie, curated by Charlene Vella and hosted at The Phoenicia Hotel, is on until November 30. Consult the artist’s Facebook page for more information.