About Joan LeMay

Joan LeMay is a portraitist and illustrator who is interested in pattern, gesture, cheek circles and Byzantine halos. She loves painting people and animals in equal measure, and packs referential objects, color-based symbolism and other subject-specific elements into the busy backgrounds of her work in order to reflect the soul and life of the person or creature depicted. 

Her work has been exhibited in Houston, Texas (Blaffer Gallery), Pomona, CA (Glass House), Koln, Germany (Kunst Kunst Gallery), Los Angeles, CA (Showboat Gallery, Unitard Gallery, Four Eyes Art Collective), Seattle, WA (Tether Gallery, Velouria, Solo, Crocodile Cafe', The Anne Bonney, Ghost Gallery, Derek Erdman's International House of Paintings), Portland, OR (PDX Salon, Mississippi Studios, The Woods, Tiga, Disjecta Contemporary Art, Albina Press), Anacortes, WA (Cascadia Contemporary Art), Austin, TX (Monstrosity Gallery) and New York City, NY (Holiday House NYC, Brouwerij Lane, Oslo, HiFi).

Her illustration clients include Lenny, Damn Joan, Racquet Magazine, Novation, MLM LLC, Jamie Walters Interior Design and others. Her paintings have appeared in Architectural Digest, Apartment Therapy, Juxtapoz and other publications.

Her album artwork appears on LPs by Benjamin Gibbard, Laura Gibson, Dave Depper, Clint Michigan, Jennifer O'Connor, The White Papers, and others.

She is currently creating artwork for the upcoming documentary film "It's Not A Burden", produced and directed by the Emmy-nominated team at Greenie Films.

She is also, and always, taking portraiture commissions for pets, people and places, and continues to illustrate for multiple outlets from her studio in Santa Fe, NM.

“I’ve seen scarier.”--John Waters on Joan’s portrait of him

“I love the painting, it’s just perfect”--Amy Sedaris on Joan’s portrait of her

“I love this! Thank you!”--New York Magazine Art Critic Jerry Saltz on the unsolicited portrait Joan painted of him 

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