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Hamptons Life

Feb 2, 2018 5:42 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

East End Artist Jo-Ann Corretti Paints Local Landmarks

Feb 5, 2018 10:47 AM

Two white Adirondack chairs sit side by side, casting gray shadows along the whiteish blue wooden deck overlooking Orient Beach. The chairs are not new. In fact, the orange rust cascading from the nails down the arm of the chair indicate that quite a few locals have enjoyed a hot cup of coffee or a glass of wine there.

“It’s in the details,” Mattituck resident Jo-Ann Corretti said of the scene—which she painted nearly five years ago. “Details that make them come alive. That’s why I paint.”

She called the painting “Adirondack Chairs, Orient.”

“I loved painting that,” she said in a recent interview, noting that it is one of nearly 400 commissioned artworks she has completed over the years. “Everyone looks at it and they’re, like, ‘You even got the rust!’”

Ms. Corretti started her painting journey at a very young age. She reminisced about how she used to sew outfits for her dolls, with her hand-cranked sewing machine, and would then paint them. “Then, as I got older, I would make really cool clothes for myself,” she said.

Her journey continued at Farmingdale University nearly 35 years ago, where she met Charles Liese, an assistant professor of advertising, art and design, who in turn would change her life.

“I took all of his classes,” she said, noting that he was the person who inspired her to make painting a career. “I learned all those precise and little details from him.”

Growing up in Northport, Ms. Corretti would often paint the scenic areas of her hometown, including Northport Village Park and Northport Harbor Dock.

It wasn’t until she and her husband, Joe, moved into her house in Mattituck, where her studio overlooks Mattituck Inlet, that she discovered the beauty of the East End. “I’m looking outside at the water, and it’s just an amazing place,” she said. “It’s what I want my paintings to look like.”

Now, her favorite things to paint are East End beaches, marshes and lighthouses.

Her piece “Montauk Coastline,” featuring a pathway along a light brown sandy beach with blue waves crashing in the background, is a perfect example of her style of painting.

She explained that the majority of her paintings have a pathway leading into the painting; for example, a white cobblestone walkway leading up to a vineyard, or a long wooden dock where the Amagansett Beach Hut is just visible in the background. “It makes the painting look amazing, and it brings people into your painting,” she said.

In addition, Ms. Corretti paints portraits of homes, gardens, businesses, boats, cars, book covers, and logos, some of which have been featured on the cover of Dan’s Papers, a East End weekly publication.

Her latest creations are what she calls “Holiday Magic Twinkle Prints,” sprinkled in crystal dust to make snow sparkle, which she said offers her the opportunity to have some fun with her artwork. She painted five holiday designs, among them Santa and his reindeer, children pulling their sleds, and a snowman with his top hat and scarf.

Ms. Corretti also belongs to the Southampton Artists Association—a nonprofit that holds four art shows a year to give local artists the opportunity to display their works in a gallery—and served as the organization’s president for two years. For 11 years, she has dedicated countless hours of her time to the Old Town Arts & Crafts Guild in Cutchogue, where she works to organize arts and craft shows in the surrounding parks.

Dominick Lamontanaro, the current president of the Southampton Artists Association, said on Tuesday that Ms. Corretti “has been a really active and contributing member” to the association over the years, praising her for both her character and talent as an artist.

“I particularly like her landscapes,” Mr. Lamontanaro said. “Her work is very vibrant [and] very colorful. She’s a very skilled artist and just a delightful person.”

And if that’s not enough, she has also recently dabbled in photography. But she said painting will always be her passion. She explained that nothing beats the feeling of having someone thank her for a painting.

“When someone wants your work, I love that,” Ms. Corretti said, noting that her customers are often so excited to show her where the paintings hang in their houses. “There’s nothing like that feeling.”

For more information on Jo-Ann Corretti’s art, visit joanncorretti.com.

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