Jo Dounis – Artist

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Jo Dounis was born in Malta, but left the island as a young adult, to work in Greece and Italy for 18 years before returning to her homeland.  She is an acrylic and fine art mixed media artist with a background in interior design.

When and how did you get started?

…when I was old enough to hold and use a pencil.  I used to love watching my architect father drawing, painting or making wooden models of his projects so I was exposed to art and creativity from a very young age.   I studied art in my youth and Interior Design later in life, an industry in which I worked for over 20 years.  For as long as I can remember, art has always been a part of me and I carried on studying or painting whenever time permitted.

Several years ago, art started playing a major role in my life and I began spending all my spare time painting.  I have since taken part in many collective exhibitions as well as putting up 2 solo exhibitions.

What genre do you consider your work to be?

I don’t think of my work as being of a particular genre.  I am not a traditionalist by nature and tend to do things a little differently from the norm without being restricted by one genre of style.  I aim to be known as a versatile artist.  Although I am know for my fluid art, my current work is completely different with abstract or semi-abstract land, sea, city or skyscapes, full of light, colour and texture.

Describe your work in 10 words or less.

Ethereal, atmospheric, abstract or semi-abstract, textural,

Where was your first exhibition held?

My first exhibition was part of a collective at Palazzo De Piro in Mdina.

Do you have a favourite from among your own artworks? If so, why?

Even though there are some I like more than others, like a mother with her children, I don’t think I can pick a favourite.

What are you working on at the moment?

Besides working on a number of private commissions,  I am taking part in various collective exhibitions and my third solo at the Phoenicia Hotel in November of 2023.

Which artist’s work are you most inspired by?

I can’t say I’m inspired by any one particular artist.  Although my work has been described as Turneresque,  I am mostly inspired by an amazing sky, a particular colour palette, a hint of a view or an idea which pops into my head in the dead of night.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

A travel photographer sharing the natural beauty of this world and hopefully inspiring people to take better care of it.

What is the epitome of happiness for you?

Success in what I set out to achieve and knowing that my children are happy.

What do you love about Malta?

The fact that my family is here, the mild climate, the quality of life, the sea all around us because I love islands, short distances and the gems of natural and historical beauty.

What do you hate about Malta?

The garbage, the noise, the traffic, the lack of parking, over-development, our skyline of tower cranes, corruption, and politicians who are doing nothing to protect our environment.

Favourite colour and what it means to you?

I love all colours because of how they interact with each other so it’s more about a colour palette for me, than a particular colour.  Having said that, if I were pushed to choose, I would say blue because I love natural bodies of water and all the different blues in lakes, rivers, seas and oceans.

What is your favourite indulgence?

A delicious dessert after a meal.  When I can’t get that… gin and tonic J

For more interviews like this one we carried out with Joanna Dounis, go here 

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Paula Fleri-Soler

Paula has a pedigree in TV and stage production (children's and family entertainment) and a passion for the arts. She's taken the reins on The Artists' Directory - Malta and the relevant content for the site.

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