the work of sean arthur joyce

artwork of sean arthur joyce

Sketching. It's very much an automatic reflex. I can be looking at an image and suddenly the itch to draw takes over.


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Man Ray Portrait
  • Man Ray Portrait
    Man Ray Portrait
  • Lady Mask
    Lady Mask
  • CEO Mask
    CEO Mask
  • Child Angel
    Child Angel
  • Grieving Angel
    Grieving Angel
  • Mask 1 Poetry
    Mask 1 - Poetry
  • Mask 2 Chameleon
    Mask 2 - Chameleon
  • Mask 3 Work
    Mask 3 - Work
  • Mask 4 Fame
    Mask 4 - Fame
  • Mask 5 War
    Mask 5 - War
  • Mask 6 History
    Mask 6 - History
  • Mask 7 Family
    Mask 7 - Family
  • The Unmasking Of The Beast 200 Dpi
    The Unmasking Of The Beast
  • Urban Trillium
    Urban Trillium
  • Chokwe Mask 2
    Chokwe Mask 2
  • Self Portrait In Mask
    Self Portrait In Mask



Sometimes it's the challenge, sometimes an idea. Other times it's an existing concept to illustrate, as in the case of Urban Trillium, which was a try at a cover for Catherine Owen's book, Starvation Landscape (chameleon fire editions, 2001). In rare cases, as with The Muse series, it's almost an afterthought—another shade of dimension to fill in on a theme that has been obsessing me. I had started the series with poems first, then three-dimensional mask artwork (two series: The Muse, The Five Elements), and finally bringing poems and artwork together in the sketches. The theme of masks, in all senses of the word, crept in repeatedly.

I first began sketching at age 6. It was a momentous occasion; one of those rare lucid washes of memory made to stand out by my parents' reaction. Amazement, approval—it was a kind of epiphany. I had drawn almost line for line, slightly skewed but very precise, a honky-tonk piano player from a record album cover my parents owned. Through my school years I was always doodling, always got 'A's in art classes while having to take remedial math courses. The sketchbooks blossomed out in imaginative quality during my florid teen years, then in adulthood seemed mostly to slip into a sound sleep. Maybe one day I'll have more time to devote to drawing. My mother has said, "I always thought you'd become an artist." Well of course, she was right.