Monday's Feature: Joan Blackwell

Meet Joan Blackwell.


AE:  Who are you and what is it that you do/make?   
JB:  I am Joan Blackwell  - Proud Army Mom, Lumbee, and Gourd Artist.

AE:  How did you get started/What is the motivation behind your work?  
JBEleven years ago, while visiting a lady friend, Miss Louis, who lives in TN, I saw a gourd hanging in one of her trees.  We talked about it and she gave it to me.  I took it home, cleaned it up and painted on it.  I took it back to her as a gift, and that is how it all started.  Gourds are a wonderful medium to paint on.  After they dry out they have the consistency of wood.  

Since then I have been interviewed several times by newspapers, a featured artist on TV, gave a presentation at UNCP, and continue to teach classes when I have time.  As a full time Art Education major at UNCP, I still love to paint on gourds and look forward to summer break to complete new artistic expressions.  I paint because I love too. 

After retiring from a Department of Defense contracting position in 2000; I knew I wanted to find a hobby and volunteer work to keep me busy.  As a Mom to an Army pilot, who frequently travels overseas, I found this outlet helped occupy my time and keep me focused in a positive manner. 

I am not a major production artist.  Most of my art has been given as presents and I have sold art internationally and nationally.  After painting 408 pieces of art, I only have 40 left.  I better get busy and paint some more soon.  I still enjoy setting up at festivals and have several exhibits in Pembroke, NC.  If you like, call me, and I can teach you this technique in my art studio located in my home.  You will need two hours to complete the art.  I will provide the supplies.  The fee is negotiable.  Bring a friend and the fee is reduced. 

AE:  Where can we find your work? 
JB:   I have several exhibits in Pembroke, NC.  I also have an online gallery.
AE:  What is your website/contact information? 
JB:  My online gallery is

Joan's work is absolutely amazing.  I have one of her beautiful gourds - "Charmed Butterfly" - in my kitchen and she makes me smile every time I enter my kitchen.  Please be sure to check out Joan's online gallery.  You won't be disappointed.  :-)

Peace & Love,


  1. The gourds are beautiful. Nice she has a whole new career after one career.

  2. I love how creative she is with the gourds.


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