Joanna Draugsvold was born in New York City in 1952 and raised in New Jersey, a few miles outside of Manhattan. She attended both public and private schools until 1970 and spent many afternoons after school either in New York, viewing museums and galleries, or in after-school art programs in the suburbs. By age eighteen Ms. Draugsvold had taken private instruction in watercolor painting from a New York City artist, oil painting in Maplewood, New Jersey for five years, and studied clay sculpture. She attended the University of Colorado for two years of college, studying portrait and figurative sculpture, and returned to the East Coast to complete her undergraduate degree at The American University in Wash. D.C. with a major in literature and a minor in fine arts.
Ms. Draugsvold began teaching in the arts in 1975 at The Loomis Chaffee School, instructing students in drawing, sculpture and three-dimensional design. She continued her education at Wesleyan University in Connecticut to complete a degree of Masters of Liberal Studies with a major in fine arts in 1981. Her thesis art show was her first, a compilation of works in both three-dimensional design and abstract, poured paintings.
Since the early ‘80s, Ms. Draugsvold has shown the body of her work in a variety of forums, including one woman shows at the Katherine Brush Library Gallery in Windsor, Ct (1981), Noble and Greenough School (1990), and The Emily Landau Center for the Arts in Ashburnham, MA (2003). Ms. Draugsvold also exhibits individual paintings in New England art shows, including The Copley Society’s Member Show, The Fitchburg Art Museum’s Regional Artist’s Show (where she was awarded honorable mention for her painting, Cinque Terre, Italy) and The Cambridge Art Association’s New England Show.
A self-taught painter, Ms. Draugsvold became interested in the medium of oil color during her final semester’s work at Wesleyan University where she shared studio space with a sculptor from Madrid. To expand his awareness of three dimensional space, he spent five weeks painting large, abstract works in oil; it rubbed off, and Ms. Draugsvold began painting more than sculpting. For twenty years she has honed her skills by studying other painters’ works in museums of major cities in the United States and Europe, especially those of Joaquin Sorolla. Her painting has grown from realist to impressionist in nature, and Ms. Draugsvold currently works in varied canvas sizes ranging from 8”x 10” to 48”x 60.” In recent years she has been most influenced by the work of Gerhardt Richter, as she has developed soft, diffused edges while still maintaining a strong, independent light source.
Ms. Draugsvold frequently travels to Europe to study art and visit with family and friends who live there. She continues to paint landscapes and cityscapes of European countries, including Italy, France and England, along with her work in portraiture, working primarily in oil on canvas but also painting in acrylics. Her original paintings can be found in numerous private collections in the United States and Europe and can be viewed on the web at www.draugsvold.com .She works exclusively by commission and is represented by Lorica Artworks in Andover, Massachusetts.