Off The Wall Magazine Q&A with Joyce Grasso



Maine: I was raised in Portland. My dad owned Kay Brook Shoe on Congress Street for 53 years. My parents remained in Portland until their passing, some years after he closed his store. The sounds of waves breaking and the din of distant foghorns were part of my everyday existence in Maine. That simple beauty saturated my soul.

Inspiration: As a former art teacher, I found my young students were always playful and fearless in their approach. Their broad strokes and bright palettes were charged with energy and a joy to behold. Now, in my second career as an artist, I approach each canvas and collage piece with that same ethos.

Art Hero: Picasso once said that it took him years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.

Studio: My studio is located in the recently reinvented neighborhood of Harbor Point in Stamford, Connecticut. The Loft Artists Studios and Galleries is on the second floor of an old brick building that has hardwood floors, brick walls, and large widows. My studio, one of 14, faces the north, giving me amazing light year-round. Every time I unlock the door of my studio, I can’t believe I am fortunate enough to work in the space.

Where in Maine: With frequent return visits to Maine, I have integrated the beauty of natural and manmade environments into my work. Rather than traditional land- or seascapes, my paintings create a feeling of place. I believe that a sense of place allows us to access those special feelings and memories that escape our usual awareness.

Fun Fact: Working with children has allowed me to see the world through their lens. As a result, each of my pieces reflects my joyful heart and colorful world. It gives me great pleasure to create works that are true to my aesthetic and meaningful to others.

Education: Gary Beckwith at Deering High School in Portland chose me for his studio art class. Much of my senior year was spent in this class with 15 very talented artists, many of whom went on to art careers. It was Mr. Beckwith who encouraged me to continue to study art in college. I’ve studied at the International Center of Photography in New York City, the Silvermine School of Art in Connecticut, and the Greenwich Art Society in Greenwich, Connecticut. I taught art in the Stamford and Greenwich Public Schools for over 35 years.





Learn more about this artist:


Available artwork


Radio Maine podcast interview


Off The Wall  magazine Q&A