Written by April Spadina
On the footpath of a busy street corner, a small figure sits with her back against a wall, oblivious to the traffic that rushes by.
She is in a world of her own as she quietly examines the heritage building on the opposite side of the street. Warmed by the sun on her skin, she looks down at the painting in her lap propped up by her little wooden art box, and with her soft paintbrush she adds the final touches for the morning.
In just two hours Joy Butler has produced a vibrant watercolour sketch of an old building in the heart of Maryborough, capturing it’s old-worldly charm perfectly.
Since joining the local Urban Sketchers group last year, Joy has discovered her love for watercolour painting. Her style is bright and expressive with a looseness that allows the paint to create its own effects on the thick, textured paper.
She has a knack for matching the colour of the brickwork or patina and an ability to show the character of the scene before her, which is a quality that’s important to an Urban Sketcher.
It’s not unusual for Joy to whip up a sketch when she has some time up her sleeve, be it at the beach, a café or waiting for a meeting in the CBD, before you know it, colour bleeds on to the paper to create a beautiful artwork in the playful style she has developed.
Her eye for detail comes from years spent looking at the world through a lens. Joy’s brand “Growtograph” was a play on words that came from her dreamy photographic portrayal of families across generations and significant milestones.
Her continuation of a storyline of life might start with a romantic engagement photo shoot, followed by a wedding, expectant parents to be and then celebrating a new birth – Joy captures something in her images that connects her to her client’s soul in a way that keeps bringing them back for years.
It’s this quality in Joy that is her namesake. She really is joy and wears her name like a badge of honour. She has a way of sharing her joy of life with those who know her and enhances the world with her radiance that shines like a summer’s day.
Community connectivity is one of Joy’s greatest loves and is what drove her to create the Alive Magazine. When the local newspaper ceased printed production, Joy knew there was a great need for people to be able to connect through the written word and glossy image, so she banded together a team of creatives and Alive was born.
Two years later they print a whopping 5,000 copies each month and supply to over 260 outlets from Gympie to Bundaberg!
If Joy is harvesting home grown vegetables from her family’s bushland retreat, playing the piano, and singing or creating beautiful visual art, she is in her happy place. As long as she is with her favourite people, she is blissfully joyful and in her own words, she is enthusiastic for life unless she is “very, very hungry, or very, very sick”. Let’s make sure she is always not far from a snack and some Vitamin C because this is the kind of Joy the world needs more of.