Paint. Paper. Scissors. Guest Artist Joy Yarbrough

Capturing the beauty of nature by merging two art forms—watercolor and paper cutting—Palmyra native Joyce Yarbrough returns to the Alliance Art Gallery as the featured guest artist for May. She invites those who have long admired her paper cutting of butterflies, birds, and flowers into her watercolor world.

Paper cutting became Joyce’s profession, but watercolors never quite made an exit. She especially enjoys creating small 4x6 or 5x7 watercolor “souvenirs” when traveling. “On vacation, I do scenes. I bring a sketch pad. Watercolors are so much easier than pastels.”

Preferring realism to an impressionistic style, she easily transitions between the exactitude of paper cutting and the photographic realism of scenes from nature. Yet that realism carries a touch of soft gentleness feathered into it. “Nature is the source of my inspiration,” she admits. She lets the subject dictate the medium: “For me, it has always been to look at what I am doing. Will it be a cutting? A painting? A pastel? It is all about how that subject matter strikes me.”

Early in her artistic career as a newly graduated fine arts Mizzou graduate, she landed a job in the graphic arts department at Hallmark. There, watercolors “devolved” into exacting color-by-color stages until the full-bodied beauty of the final card emerged. With those skills in hand, Joyce joined a small New Hampshire greeting card firm where she oversaw and participated in card design from verse to image to final product. Up to this time, she had not cut one silhouette, but that would soon change, making it her own hallmark in the art world.

One day, working a show, doing on-site pastel portraits, someone suggested she try doing silhouettes. Intrigued, she began. People lined up, and surgical scissors in hand, she never looked back.

An opening reception will be held on Saturday May 13 from 5 until 8:00.