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December Sunset
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Joann M. Douk

My Story

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area I grew up in a small town called Livermore and began sketching cartoon caricatures to amuse my family and friends.  My parents would submit my drawings to art contests found in the local newspaper, but in those days there were no art academies accepting an 8 year old with visible talent.  My art teachers in school continued to expose me to different art mediums and I became curious about one painter in particular: Leonardo da Vinci. I spent hours at the school library perusing volumes of his works. The mysterious Mona Lisa has always been one of my favorites. 

My love for photography grew throughout the years and most of my paintings are inspired by moments seen through the camera lens, thanks to my father. He was always memorializing our yearly vacations as our family visited National Parks of the West.  Because of him, I'm grateful for my continued wonder lust for travel and exposure to the beauty of our natural surroundings. 

My adventures and travels have taken me from California to Florida, Paris and Amsterdam, Florence and Tel-Aviv and many places in-between. But my favorite place to be is any beach on any island or continent at sunrise or sunset.  The colors are always moving and the feeling of peace always lingers.

In 2017 my adventurous spirit brought me to the Ojai Valley and thanks to continued support I began to pursue my passion for painting. The exposure to incredible artists in that area and the opportunity to learn from that amazing talent was priceless.  My love for breath taking photography and endless hours exploring this blue marble we live on continues to fuel my passion for the artwork I create.  I hope that you enjoy my journey as I attempt to capture those peaceful moments with my original creations of "art from the heart."

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My Art Gallery

Peaceful moments captured on canvas

My inspiration for each painting begins with an amazing photographic moment.  The colors I use for each painting are sometimes identical to what our eyes see ... but I know my personal interpretation of the image is complete when I can step back and feel a part of me has been blended into each of the final brush strokes on canvas. 

That feeling truly makes my heart sing.

"Painting completed my life."

~ Frida Kahlo ~

San Simeon, CA - September 2021
Reflections - May 2021 (Sold)
Grant Park, Ventura CA - March 2021
December Sunset
Roger - March 2021
Multnomah Falls, Oregon - January 2021
Morning Light
Green Countryside - February 2021
"Sequoia" sleeping - April 2020
Unexpected Rain - June 2020
Heart on the Hill
Home Sweet Home - August 2021
Warm Sunset
Kukkenhoff Gardens - January 2020
Sailor's Delight
Carmel Happy Hour (SOLD)
Laguna Sunset
Palms at Sunset (SOLD)
Buddha (SOLD)
Neon Sunset
Stormy Sunset (Sold)
Sunset Along the Shore
Polaroid of Paradise
OC Sunset (SOLD)
HB Pier (Sold)
Bird of Paradise
Dreamer - April 2021
Golden Icicles - June 2020 (Sold)
June 2021
Little Dipper - March 2020
Toucan - September 2019 (Sold)
Forest Waterfalls - March 2020 (Sold)
March 2020
Midnight Moon - March 2019
Ballerina - July 2019 (Sold)
Teal Sky - January 2020 (Sold)
Vacation - December 2019
Midnight Moon
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2019 - 2020

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What's New

My last day of work was July 7, 2019 and I began painting for myself.  The mental transformation wasn't difficult because my 2019 New Year's resolution was to begin painting by the year's end.  Now I wake up to the sound of the songbirds outside my kitchen window and fall asleep at night dreaming of "what's next."  I love it!

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2019 - 2021

Dealing with the Unknown

My last day of work was July 7, 2019 and I began painting for myself.  Every day I looked forward to simple joyful moments and continued to explore different painting mediums and styles on my canvas.  The fall weather brought changes that were hidden from us all and by the new year we were experiencing a global pandemic. 

The Spring of 2020 arrived with Covid-19 and the new normal seemed to be days filled with fear and isolation. My energy to grow artistically diminished and the tone of my paintings became dark and dreary.  By the fall of 2020 and after lots of reflection and meditation, I realized that in order to find that joyful place inside of me again, my life had to change ... and I believe change does not occur until you become the change. Therefore, I left my secret paradise with amazing friends and stunning pink sunsets and moved back to Orange County.  

Sadness, loss, insecurity, anxiety, fatigue, confusion, loneliness, disappointment...followed me into 2021 and became my new companions.  Walks in nature and constant meditation quieted my turbulent thoughts. But as I grieved for those friends and family members I had lost, I found strength, comfort, and waves of motivation waiting for me on the other shore.  

My spirit is finally recovering...and the healing joy that painting gives me has returned.  The joy of knowing love and the beauty in nature is what inspires me to paint once again... ...and I am forever grateful for this God given talent.

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters,

compared to what lies within us."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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HB Pier
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