Jo Antreasian New Mexico Abstract Artist

I have been a painter and photographer for the past 30 years. In my current work I blend photography and painting to create mixed media abstract compositions which are both bold, lyrical.

As a visual artist memories have always informed my work and helped me to communicate in ways different than verbal language. I believe this is due In part, because I struggled with dyslexia as a child and an adolescent. Art was where I could excel at school and it taught me to work and learn in different ways. Making art became tied deeply to my own since of personal self-worth and that continues today. I feel like I learn through my hands.

Since childhood I wanted to be an artist. I have a strong memory of sitting at the table in my mother’s kitchen drawing and redrawing the face of a woman from the back of a comic book trying to win the scholarship to art school. I was only 10 at the time and when I sent the drawing in, and as you would expect, I received a short note telling me to keep up the good work and to please reapply in 10 years.

I was born and grew up in Albuquerque. I had wonderful parents who instilled in me a strong work ethic, and gave me a love of learning and of art. We were the only family in the neighborhood with reproductions of modern artist’s works in our home. A large Picasso print hung over the couch in the family den, and van Gogh’s sunflowers hung in the living room. The local art supply store was within walking distance of my childhood home and I spent hours in there wandering the aisles studying the paints, the pencils, the drawing pads, as well as instruction manuals. I was taught that to create art was something special. I attended UNM and completed a BFA degree in 1989 with an emphasis in painting & photography. I studied with Jane Abrams, Harry Nadler, Jim Jacobs, Patrick Nagatani, Betty Hahn, Tom Barrow and Beaumont Newhall. During this time I met and married David Antreasian. David came from a family of artists and my desire to be an artist and to have a life working in the arts was understood and nurtured.

I have always loved photography, but I was never fond of traditional photographic techniques and papers. During the 1990’s I experimented with non-traditional photographic printing methods like cyan, gum bichromate, and finally Polaroid transfer prints.  These alternative processes let me use a camera but allowed me to do more hands on work and use better quality art materials and textured art papers.

Today everyone has a camera so, I work hard to produce images that don’t exist in reality. I start by layering original images in the computer then reveal and obscure parts of them to create unique compositions. I work to develop images which are abstract but still retain a touch of the familiar.  On occasion, I have been asked to explain how I know when an image is finished.  Well, I keep working with a composition until it resonate with me emotionally or intellectually.



My new work is generated in a computer, but it is not printed by a digital printer. Once I have completed the composition I print a large color transparency. Then I use chemical solutions on fine art papers and register the transparency. From this point on, I use rollers and brayers to move the ink from the transparency to the paper. With this method, the ink sits on the surface of the paper in a different way than just making a digital print. The colors are very rich and viewers are often not sure if they are looking at a painting, a print, or a photograph.  I can reproduce my images but all are slightly different, and I produce limited edition prints of ten.