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In the Moment—The Art of Joan Vienot

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The paintings of local artist Joan Vienot will be on display at the Walton County Coastal Branch Library during the month of October. Vienot is passionate about painting en plein air, which is painting in open air, outdoors, on scene, directly interpreting her impression of the light on the landscape.


Vienot will be exhibiting works depicting local and regional scenes as well as scenes from her recent travels to Georgia, Montana, Colorado and New Zealand. Many will be plein air paintings, which have the fresh, on-scene essence that is characteristic to paintings done in the moment.


Recent local awards and recognitions include Best in Show at Santa Rosa Arts and Culture Foundation’s Bagdad-Milton Plein Air Paint-Out, 2016; People’s Choice Best in Show at Local Color Plein Air Festival, Lynn Haven, Florida, 2015; designation as a Florida’s Finest en Plein Air Ambassador, Forgotten Coast en Plein Air, Apalachicola, Florida, 2016; and Third Place in the Southeast Regional Juried Art Show at Mattie Kelly Arts Center, Niceville, 2016.


After graduating from the University of Northern Colorado with a B.A. teaching degree in both Fine Arts and Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Vienot taught art and coached girls’ swimming and girls’ junior varsity basketball at a Colorado high school for three years before moving to Northwest Florida in 1980.


She started a swimming pool service business in South Walton in 1983, growing it to a peak of 330 contracts before selling it in late 2015. She then immediately launched her second career as a fulltime artist. Vienot served on the Board of Directors of the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County from 2011 to 2017, dedicated to showcasing the works of member artists through exhibits in public spaces in the community. She also serves as Coordinator for the Emerald Coast Plein Air Painters.


This issue’s Beachcomber cover artist shares her passion for plein air painting by providing demonstrations and teaching workshops. Vienot will demonstrate plein air painting at the library book sale Oct. 13, and she will be teaching at the Arts and Design Society in Fort Walton Beach on Oct. 21 and for the Cultural Arts Alliance at the Flutterby Festival and Plein Air Event in Watersound Origins in Nov. 10.


The Coastal Branch Library is located at 437 Greenway Trail in Santa Rosa Beach. It is open Monday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Vienot’s work can also be seen on her website,, and you can follow her on social media at

Cheryl Gray
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