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Studio/Gallery 512-581-1106
Bastrop, Texas

Jo Castillo

About Jo

Color, light and memories are what Jo Knoblock Castillo's painting is about. The artist has always had an interest in art and working with her hands. Whether it was cooking, sewing or making gifts, she was happy to be "doing". While living in Bolivia, she finally rediscovered her love of painting. Her interest is in landscapes and paintings that have connections to her life.

Jo works in most media, but has discovered she really enjoys the special luminosity of pastels. The colors are clear and vibrant. Jo states, "Pastel is my favorite media. They are tactile, bright, beautiful and long lasting. Painting with a pastel in my hand is drawing and painting all at once. My artwork is always evolving, I learn something new each time I create a new piece.I enjoy painting from life and use my own reference photos just as a reminder of shape or lighting."

Winters find Jo and Gene, her husband, living in Bastrop, Texas. It is near family and offers a mild climate and plenty of live music and opportunities to paint. Jo looks forward to plein air painting while traveling each summer. "It is a challenge to set up an easel and paint a scene in just a couple of hours," Jo says, "The light is very fleeting and you have to get down large sections of light and dark very quickly to establish your painting. Weather doesn't always cooperate and uninvited visitors like mosquitoes or snakes are not uncommon."

no logoJo signs her paintings with her last name, Castillo, and a "no" with a square/block around it. She started doing this at Gene's suggestion. Jo's father signed notes and letters with this signature for his last name, Knoblock (no block). Jo decided to put her maiden name on her paintings to remember her Dad.

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More About Jo

Jo's work is representational and detailed without being photographic. She works in a variety of media to keep her work fresh and interesting. Plein air is something she likes to do because it is done quickly to capture the light. It keeps her work from being overworked and suits her style.

She attended workshops and classes in Lubbock, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; and Big Timber, Montana, where she studied with Jack Hines and Jessica Zemsky. . Jo continues to pursue her creative side through classes and instruction. She and husband, Gene, spend time on the road providing extra learning experiences and giving them an appreciation of the wonderful country around us.

She lived fifteen years in South America(Bolivia, Peru and Chile). Travel presented many opportunities to learn and appreciate a variety of cultures and artistic creativity contributing to her bright and colorful style. Jo's paintings are displayed in homes across the United States, Canada, England and Bolivia.

Jo was raised in ranching country in and around Magdalena, New Mexico. Dutch, her father, was one of the last real cowboys, a hired hand. He started out as a cook on a chuck wagon. Alice, Jo's mother, was one of nine girls that were real cowgirls. They lived on the ranch at Field, New Mexico, north of Magdalena and did all the riding, roping, bronc riding, branding, fence building and whatever needed to be done.

Three of Jo's children, Joanna, Juanita and Larry, live nearby in central Texas. David and family, wife Lisa, and the two grandchildren, Cole and Christy live in Kentucky. All are supportive and a great inspiration.

Jo painted in Bolivia and began to enter her work in shows and painting commissions, donations and gifts. She studied with Yolanda Aguirre the second time she was in Bolivia and continued her study and practice. She began a routine and set time for painting, increasing her interest and confidence.

After Gene retired in 1994, Jo started attending workshops and attended the International Association of Pastel Societies Biannual Convention and became enthused about pastel painting. She joined the Art League of Smithville and then helped to found the Bastrop Fine Arts Guild and continues her membership. Jo served as secretary, treasurer, gallery committee and publicity chair. She kept up steady art practice, had a studio in downtown Bastrop for four years, and exhibited and sold her work.

Jo started her personal website a few years ago and developed the website for the Guild. She has enjoyed posting on a blog for a few years and participates in several on-line endeavors. At present she is a member of the Austin Pastel Society where she served as President and continues striving to create the best art she can.