Joe McMenamin is a painter and printmaker and the flowing organic patterns that ripple through his works have won him a following throughout New Zealand. Joe has a bachelor of media arts from the Waikato Institute of Technology. As a secondary school Art teacher for 14 years, Joe got lots of the ideas for his work through interactions with his students. His students also experienced first-hand the different processes involved in his prints, drawings and paintings. From the start of 2017 Joe has finished teaching and is now a full time artist.
In Joe’s latest series of nautical themed screen prints his detailed drawings are screen printed as a ship and anchor or a deep sea diver. Joe then carefully drops coloured powdered dye pigment in the midst of the image, and the colours splash across the print, making each one bright, exquisite and unique. He finishes the print with some hand drawn pattern to represent the water.
Joe’s recent paintings depict a range of subjects painted directly onto the medium of plywood – it is a natural medium that attracts him and he makes the frames for each piece by hand. He is interested in New Zealand native birds. Joe skilfully paints these birds directly onto the plywood, which gives them a raw quality and showcases his photorealistic painting technique. He often applies a layer of Danish oil overtop, which brings out the grain of the wood and the jewel-like paint colours.
Joe and his family moved to Feilding at the beginning of 2017, where he has took up a one year artist in residence position at St John’s Anglican Church. Joe has just opened a Studio & Gallery in Feilding’s town centre where he creates his art. There will be regular guest exhibitions in the gallery space.