Joan MacKenzie, a self-taught artist, loves animals and color. She has spent many happy hours photographing pikas in their mountain homes out west, moose in the Vermont woods, horses and cows in the Italian Dolomites, and zebras and giraffes at zoos or in Kenya. Chance encounters -- with a dog at a tiny piazza in Italy or with a tree frog found hiding in her shoe -- often inspire her. Back at home, she captures their personalities with acrylics. She also does commissioned pet portraits. Bright colors are used in unusual ways to jazz up the animals or to enhance their habitats.
In 1998 she created Pika Works, a line of greeting cards and artwork starring the pikas and their wild neighbors. A few years later she encountered a moose and her yearling daughter in the Vermont woods near Mt. Mansfield as the snow slowly melted. Molly and Dolly Moose star in a series of popular paintings. Their story is on www.pikaworks.com.
Joan considers the animals to be long lasting characters and friends. She prefers to show them in many formats and make each one available to as many people as possible. Her collection includes original acrylic paintings, framed and unframed prints, greeting cards, and magnets as well as photos of pikas, moose and African animals.
In Vermont, Joan's work can be seen at Art on Main in Bristol and Sweet Grass Gallery & Gifts in Williston. She is a member of Vermont Hand Crafters and exhibits at a number of art and crafts shows in the Vermont region. Please visit www.pikaworks.com