JoAnn Zhanna Bland Biography
JoAnn Zhanna Bland is a Ukrainian-American abstract artist with some elements of surrealism, primarily utilizing acrylic on canvas in her work. Born in the historical south-western part of the Soviet era Ukraine, JoAnn developed an early appreciation for the beauty of the lush landscapes near the Carpathian Mountains and the diverse architecture represented in her hometown: Vienna Secession, Neoclassicism, Baroque, elements of Goth, Byzantine, and even Cubism. JoAnn started drawing and painting things she saw or imagined at a very early age. After entering middle school, she attended a specialized art school where she learned different techniques, discipline and freedom of art. Mixing and experimenting with color has become hypnotic and satisfying for JoAnn. In 1989 at the age of 14, everything changed when her family immigrated to the US. Life happens…her artistic ambitions came to a halt for several decades.
JoAnn didn’t return to her artistic expressionism until she was in her mid-thirties living with her own family in Michigan. She started exploring her creativity through interior design by deciding to pick up paint and brushes in order to create meaningful decor she could connect with. She started with leftover charcoal wall paint, bronze gift tissue paper and canvas. The rest was history!
From that moment on she knew that creating art brought her joy, solace and satisfaction. “Time stops when I apply medium on canvas. It is my form of meditation and forgetting about the world outside.” At that time her biggest inspirations were monotonous-bold abstracts, black and white photography, mix of modern and vintage objects/architecture, and the mysterious forests of Tim Burton’s productions. JoAnn tried bright bold colors only to return to experimenting mostly in neutrals, black, white, and the metallic palette. Next thing she knew she was getting requests from friends for commissioned art and invitations to display in public venues.
Today, JoAnn and her family reside in Indiana where she established both an art studio and a display gallery of her paintings in the new home. Creating fine art for interior design and exploring new techniques and mediums which connect her imagination with the world is even more healing and transformative than ever before. She likes to work with acrylic because of its diversity in application such as: palette knife texture, dry brushing, and pouring to name a few. More recently, experimenting with fabric compositions on canvas has become a focus. Sometimes she would work on several paintings simultaneously with an idea of how they would be incorporated into an interior. However, each one is a unique process and she likes to put the finished products aside in order to come back with a fresh second look in order to layer more details. Regardless of the technique or inspiration, each painting is a unique journey and discovery. The end product will always have an element of surprise.
As a multilayered experience, JoAnn’s Art represents admiration for the connection of classic and modern, vintage and new, depth of the space, mood and emotion. JoAnn’s focus of interest in objects and mediums may change over time, but one thing will remain constant – awareness of the world around and evolution through expressionism.
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.