Vienot to give meditation, painting seminar

Special to The Log
Joan Vienot’s oil painting of white Iris blooms on a dusty purple background was painted en plein air. [SPECIAL TO THE LOG]

Artist Joan Vienot will speak at the Jan. 18 meeting of the Emerald Coast Meditation Society on “The Zen of Timed Art.” Last fall she exhibited “Small Works en Plein Air” at the Coastal Branch Library, and was spotlighted in Thirty A Review.

The ECMS will meet at 6:30 p.m. at Christ the King, 480 N. Co. Hwy. 393 480 N., one-half mile north of U.S. Highway 98. The meeting, free to the public, begins with 30 minutes of silent meditation.

Vienot will share her observations of the benefits of time-constrained art. She enjoys figure drawing that is constrained by the amount of time that the model can hold the pose, and the art of plein air painting, which is constrained by the changing light and environmental factors. Both require intense concentration and an emptying of ego, yielding many of the same benefits as meditation. After speaking, she will lead the group in a few exercises so that they can experience this intentional focus, and perhaps retain it as one of the tools in their peace-of-mind toolbox.

An avid paddleboarder and nature photographer, Vienot often returns to scenic areas, palette in hand, to attempt to capture the light on canvas in order to share the beauty she experiences. Vienot was born and raised in Colorado, and received her bachelor of arts with majors in fine art and in health, physical education, and recreation. After teaching art and coaching the girls swim team and the junior varsity basketball team at her hometown high school for three years, she moved to Seagrove Beach in 1980. She recently sold the swimming pool service business she started 35 years ago and now is practicing art full time at her home in Point Washington.

Vienot’s contributions to the community include serving on the board of the Cultural Arts Alliance from 2011 to 2017, serving as a volunteer firefighter from 1986 to 1996, and since 2015, serving as the volunteer coordinator for the Emerald Coast Plein Air Painters, who paint on site throughout Walton and Okaloosa counties every Wednesday morning.

Recent recognition include:

Selected as a Florida’s Finest en Plein Air Ambassador for the Forgotten Coast en Plein Air, 2016-2017.

Winner of Best in Show, Bagdad-Milton Plein Air Quickdraw, Milton, 2016.

Winner of Best in Show, Local Color Plein Air Quickdraw, Lynn Haven, 2015.

Vienot’s art can be seen at her studio by appointment. Selected works are at Bohlert-Massey Interiors and A. Wickey Gallery in Santa Rosa Beach, and at On the Waterfront Gallery in Apalachicola. Most of her work can be seen online at

The ECMS is an ecumenical group free to anyone. It meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month, September through June. The evening will end around 8 p.m. Anyone who would like meditation instruction should come at 6:15 p.m. For more information, contact Tracey Tapp at