My Mother, the Artist
|Joan Elizabeth Jackson
was born in Edmonton in 1931. She was the third child of Fred and
Henrietta Jackson, whose roots in the Clover Bar Community went back to
the previous century when Fred's father Thomas homesteaded the land
which is still in the Jackson family, near Sherwood Park, Alberta. She
spent her early years in the freedom of the farm and beautiful country.
Because her mother was ill with multiple sclerosis for all of Joan's
life, she early on developed a strong sense of independence and
individuality which lay dormant for many years during which she married,
and with her husband, cinematographer and entrepreneur Nicholas Zubko,
had five children and raised them.
It was in her later years that she reverted to the artistic self that her busy life had hidden. First she discovered an affinity for clay and became a potter. Under the name of "Moon Echo Pottery" she created, showed and sold many works of art that had been created in her shop only a few miles from where she grew up, and on the bank of the Old Man Creek, north of Sherwood Park. There she built and operated a large gas-fired kiln, so that she could work in porcelain, her favorite clay. She made many large, hand-built bowls, bells, wall-hangings, vases and other pieces. Her work always expressed a sense of freedom that became her trademark.
When the demands of the clay became too difficult for her, physically, after a heart attack in the mid-90's, Joan turned to yet another medium which she had always wanted to explore -- painting. This she did in her usual style, using wild colors and unusual combinations on enormous canvasses, of outlandish but whimsical subjects. Completely self-taught, she explores the limits of expression in a manner reminiscent of the tradition of folk art.