Joshua Shane Vance: Painter with passion [Visual art]

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Joshua Shane Vance thinks that he was drawing before he could walk or talk, but his pencil drawings evolved into painting. He’s  only been painting seriously for about three years, but his paintings have made quite an impact in those three years.

"I dabbled with painting but never did it seriously until I finally realized, or believed I had something to offer by doing it, and there’s no greater crime in life than talent unused or wasted.   If a person has been given such a gift, whether singing, writing, dancing, any expression of creativity, they should feel obligated to share it so others can be enriched."

Joshua is a self taught artist with a formal education in Psychology.  He tries to incorporate what he has learned about behavior into his art to provoke a reaction.

“If someone is touched or moved, disgusted, offended, or reacts in anyway to one of my pieces- I have done my job properly.”

He paints about 25 hours a week or so, and lets the subject matter determine how he approaches the piece instead of trying to stick to any certain style. Joshua says that inspiration comes from the least likely of places.

“It truly is like a thunderbolt that strikes from nowhere.  Something or someone will engage my fascination. I get intrigued, and then the painting begins forming in my mind; I feel compelled to express it on canvas.   I get a rush from the challenge of trying to capture what I envision in my head onto the blank canvas.   It would be entirely too easy to say the painting was already there and I simply uncovered it.  That would be oversimplifying the creative process.” 


He says that acrylic is his favorite medium because of the shorter drying time and less mess. His favorite subject is people. He loves the human face, emotion, and expression.

“I'm fascinated by moments frozen in time. What was the person thinking? Feeling? Does their outside reflect their inside?  Are they hiding something?   The eyes are what defines a person.  If you can't capture the spark of life in the eyes, you haven't captured that person's essence.”

His first big break was in 2009 when a gallery owner and friend asked him to be a featured artist at the Via Colori street art festival. Since then he’s come to find his work displayed at venues like the Riverbend Winery and at galleries like Izzy’s Little Creepers and the Tim Faulkner Gallery.


He says that he would love to travel in the future and capture different subjects and people with his art.  He is fascinated by the old world and would love to see some of the rich cultural history there, although his favorite paintings so far are the paintings he has done of dancers. He likes the elegance of movement and form, motion and passion.  He plans to continue trying to capture it and has a very special piece in the works.  

"It's my nature.  It's in my blood and heart.   Why does a writer write,  a dancer dance, or a sculptor sculpt?   Im not sure if we are what we do, or do what we are , but I feel the most whole and alive when Im creating some kind of wonderful." 

Photo: John Lennon  from a series of paintings of the Beatles by Joshua Shane Vance. Two of the four paintings are still at Tim Faulkner Gallery.
About Jessica Lynn
Jessica Lynn has been writing for Louisville.com since fall of 2010 and has also been published in LEO, Velocity, Voice-Tribune and others after serving as Editor in Chief of The JCC student newspaper, The Quadrangle. She has also served as columnist or contributing writer to an array of online publications.
More articles from Jessica Lynn
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