Joanna Deflore

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In our enlightening series on bolstering business development within Texas’s vibrant tapestry of global fashion, art, and philanthropy initiatives, we had the distinct honor of sitting down with Joanna Deflore.

Joanna’s narrative is as complex and vivid as her art; a Ukrainian artist propelled by the winds of war to find sanctuary and new roots in Switzerland. Here, amidst tranquility, Joanna uncovers deep wells of inspiration in her painting, a craft she views not merely as an expression but as a bridge. Her canvas is where worlds—the seen and the unseen, the tumultuous and the serene, light’s brilliance and shadow’s mystery—intertwine in an intricate dance.
A decade dedicated to honing her craft under the tutelage of celebrated masters—Ukrainian impressionist and plein air specialist Mykola Kononenko, the esteemed pedagogue of the Ukrainian Art Academy Yana Antonova, and the innovative Ukrainian contemporary Marianna Abramova—has shaped her approach to art.

Joanna’s brush strokes often return to floral subjects and employ a palette of soft, tranquil pastels, a testament to her exploration of femininity’s myriad layers. Her recent creations find a muse in the breathtaking palettes painted across the skies by Geneva Lake’s sunsets and dawns.

The essence of Joanna’s dedication to capturing nature—flowers most of all—is rooted in her conviction that art can act as a vessel, delivering us back to the innate splendor of our natural world. Through her work, she aspires to kindle a closer, more personal bond with the environment, fostering a fusion of balance and harmony that transcends the canvas into the rhythm of our daily lives.

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Joanna Deflore

Joanna Deflore, a dynamic presence in the European art scene, has showcased her unique contemporary works in several significant exhibitions and art projects. She is renowned for her participation in the following prestigious events:

  1. “Nuova Primavera” Ukrainian Art Fest held at the historic Palazzo Velly in Rome, Italy, in 2019, where she presented her artwork alongside leading Ukrainian artists.
  2. “Greek Accent: Ukrainian Vision”—an innovative Ukrainian contemporary art project that took place across Athens and Lamia, Greece, in the year 2019. This project was instrumental in bridging cultural dialogues through artistic expression
  3. The most recent “Re: Creation” Ukrainian Contemporary Art project was displayed at the esteemed Govedarou Art Gallery in Thessaloniki, Greece, in 2021. Her contributions were critical to the success of this event, highlighting the vibrant and evolving nature of Ukrainian contemporary art.

N.G. When did you realize you have passion fir art?

J.D. To me, painting is not just a mere hobby; it is a portal to an alternate dimension where beauty reigns supreme and every stroke of the brush brings a piece of this elegance into the world. My foray into this enchanting realm of colors and canvas began in the tender years of my childhood, a gift passed down through the lineage of my father. Although his life’s work was in medicine, his heart had a secret chamber dedicated to the arts. His hands, skilled in healing, were also deft with a pencil—crafting sketches and immortalizing the gentle grace of my mother in a portrait. Yet, the full potential of his artistic prowess remained a path untrodden.

The seeds of creativity sown by my parents blossomed profusely under their gentle care. Their support was unwavering as they allowed my early expressions of art to flow freely, turning the expanse of our home into a canvas for my imagination. The transformation of a simple room into a wellspring of creativity—where crayons danced across the carpet—was a defining liberty that has deeply etched itself into the fabric of my life and my perception of art.

With the relentless passage of time, what was once a casual dalliance with art has evolved. Today, I stand at a crossroads where my soul yearns to dedicate its rhythm to the pursuit of painting. No longer just an interlude, it beckons me to explore it with renewed vigor and passion, to give myself over to the allure of the brush—a call I am ready to answer with all my being.

N.G. Have you had mentors or artists who inspire you?

J.D. My artistic journey took a serious turn when I was thirty. After relocating to a new apartment, I unexpectedly became neighbors with a gallery. Curiosity led me to befriend the owner, who graciously offered to help me seek out a mentor. To my surprise, this search ended right across the street.

It was there I met the remarkable Mykola Kononenko, an artist who had reached his seventies and typically did not mentor students. Despite this, something captivating sparked between us, prompting him to take me under his wing. Over time, I came to realize the roots of our bond — a shared artistic vision, complementary color sensibilities, and a mutual love for capturing nature’s elegance.

Mykola wasn’t just an outstanding painter; he was a true philosopher of the canvas, portraying life’s enchantments through his work. His mastery in plein-air painting and impressionism was evidenced in his exquisite color blends and his knack for capturing the essence of each subject.
His guidance was profound, emphasizing the importance of personal expression over the imitation of established techniques. This philosophy has been a guiding light not only in my art but also in life itself.

The creative spark in me is further kindled by artists like Jessica Zoob, Helen Frankenthaler, and Robert Kushner. And, inevitably, I am continuously inspired by the vibrant color palettes in Mykola Kononenko’s collections.

N.G. How does art influence other areas of your life? 

J.D. Art infiltrates every facet of my existence. It’s the wellspring of inspiration, sharpening my intuition and prompting me to find splendor everywhere. Immersed in the hues of the natural world, artwork cultivates a deeper connection to the visceral experiences of life.

This exploration of art dovetails beautifully with my two-decade tenure in the media and publishing realm. From layout design to photography, copywriting, and brand development, my professional life is a tapestry of artistic endeavors. Working alongside a myriad of creative minds, from Ukraine to the international scene, and keeping my finger on the pulse of media trends has refined my eye for aesthetics and design principles.

To me, art transcends a hobby—it is a potent mode of communication. My core belief is that communication should be authentic and encourage a sense of human connection globally. The values I uphold in the media industry seamlessly flow into my approach to art, each informing and enriching the other.

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N.G. Where do you discover the wellsprings of your creativity?

J.D. My deepest well of inspiration? It’s the natural world all around us. Drawing energy from the patterns of plants and the majesty of sweeping landscapes, I aim to encapsulate and transmit this splendor through my work. I am convinced that immersing ourselves in the raw essence of nature—as opposed to superficially skimming it—can profoundly enrich our lives; it has the potential to instill a pervasive sense of contentment and peace. This profound appreciation for the elegant tapestry of the natural world serves as a counterbalance to the impulses that ignite discord. When we encounter beauty, we learn to cultivate gratitude for the visible wonders that surround us.

My affinity for inspiration is not limited to nature, for I also find it in the creations of humanity. Take Venice, for instance—a city steeped in such undeniable beauty that it captivates my imagination. My heart was arrested, on one such encounter, by a chandelier in the Doge’s Palace; an ancient sentinel imbued with unspoken narratives and a silent observer of history unfolding beneath its glow. The chandelier, radiant with the secrets of time, continues to command the room with dignity. In its luminescence, it not only illuminates but also venerates the exquisite craftsmanship of the Murano artisans. Moved by its silent storytelling, I am now passionately developing a series titled “Ancient Chandeliers of Venice.”

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N.G. How to spark your artistic journey with painting?

J.D. How does one take the first step on the creative path, and how can art serve as a vehicle for self-discovery? I hold onto the conviction that creative essence is intrinsic to our very being we are the offspring of creation itself. While some individuals unearth their creative strengths early on, others may wander through life oblivious to their dormant gifts. It’s essential to acknowledge that the tapestry of talent is not confined solely to the arts; it manifests in various disciplines—be it in the medical field, like my father, in education, or engineering. Those blessed to identify their passion often channel it through their vocation.

Yet, engaging with the arts—whether it’s the rhythm of music, the grace of dance, the harmony of poetry, or the strokes of painting—unwraps an additional layer of existence: a visceral connection to the enigmatic fount of life itself. The realm of art is a gateway to exploring the uncharted corridors of the self, to touching the textures of your inner universe, and to understanding the depths that reside within.

Art is a prism refracting profound truths about life and our place within it. My invitation to you? Take up the brush, or the pen, or the instrument. Venture beyond the known. Navigate your streams of creativity. Every meandering exploration you undertake is a testament to the boundless gift art bestows upon us.

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N.G. Tell us about the role of color in your artwork?

J.D. Color is much more than a visual element in my artwork; it is the heartbeat of every piece. To me, color is a form of sorcery—it weaves a spell that captivates the soul and transcends the ordinary. Each shade holds its own language, a secret code that converses with us beyond the threshold of consciousness. It’s this subtle yet profound dialogue that draws us to certain works, as if by instinct. With every brushstroke, I don’t just paint; I endeavor to connect with the viewer’s deepest reflections and unspoken emotions.

N.G. What your clients appreciate most of your artwork?

J.D. In the nascent phase of my artistic venture, my clientele consisted mainly of friends and acquaintances. However, as I began to exhibit publicly, my art found resonance with empathic individuals and spiritual seekers. They often describe a sense of flow, a kinetic energy to my paintings that propels one toward self-discovery and closer to their aspirations. It’s as if the canvas becomes a medium for personal evolution.

It’s fascinating when art becomes a conduit for intuition. While composing a piece for someone, I sometimes perceive insights about them—an intriguing overlap between art and empathy. This mystical aspect of my work intrigues my clients and is the reason behind accepting personal commissions.

My paintings’ intuitive essence garnered attention beyond my immediate circle when one of them was exhibited at a charity auction in Switzerland. There I stood, amidst seasoned Ukrainian artists, as witnesses to my art’s magnetic pull on a particular individual. It is reaffirming—the belief that each creation has its destined beholder.

We are fortunate to thrive in a digitally connected epoch where the magic of true art finds its way into the hearts of countless online observers. What sets traditional art apart is its irreplaceable vibrancy and the palpable energy born from the human touch—a quality untouched by the digital art form. It is the artist’s prerogative today to channel the essence of truth and beauty, fostering a renaissance of heightened human connection.

N.G. How do you define success as a visual artist?

J.D. Success in visual art cannot be distilled down to mere profitability or fame. Instead, it envelops the joyous pursuit of self-discovery and the unconditional love for the creative process. Art holds the potential for catalyzing growth in multiple dimensions of one’s existence, and one’s craft can be the impetus for enriched life experiences. To me, genuine success in visual art blossoms from the depths of joy, fulfillment, and an abiding love for life’s myriad expressions.

N.G. How can our readers follow you online?

Instagram:  @joanna_deflore_art

ThThe readers can follow my journey on Instagram

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