My name is Joel Baxter, and I’ve often been compared to Forest Gump. As he says, “I’ve worn lots of shoes”. For me, after earning my degree in “Biology of all things” I worked as an assistant to a CPA. I didn’t like those shoes. After, I taught windsurfing and lifeguarded at resorts in Micronesia and the Caribbean. Barefoot most of the time and loved it. I was a professional trapeze artist and circus performer traveling throughout South America. No shoes, only tights. That was fantastic. I became a chiropractor, and those shoes didn’t fit at all. Like Forest, I used to run—a lot. For the next 20 ish years, I worked in the pharmaceutical industry, and in 2018 hung up those shoes and moved to Fort Lauderdale from Northern California. And without it ever being planned, the artist’s journey began.
The works featured here are available for purchase directly through the Artist. The Artist makes 100% of the profit from the sale of the artwork, so this is a great time to support them while enhancing your art collection. The artist will directly pack and ship the product to you.
All works are original and signed by the artist!
For more information on these featured artworks, email Joel @ [email protected]
Let’s start with your story, we would like to know about your journey has been so far,and hear how you got started.
I “survived” a devastating break up and abusive friend break up simultaneously in Jan 2020, then the pandemic and lock down began. I had leftover Home Depot paints, as well as caulking and stir sticks in my garage and when business began to open up again, I bought canvases and painted a Jackson Pollack inspired, and couldn’t stop. I painted every day. I studied and challenged myself to Miro, then Kandinsky, Warhol, De Kooning, tried some realism, mid-century “kitsch” and geometrics. I’ve landed on, for now, linear patterns and pixels, usually then resin coated on wood. By luck I imagined one of my pieces with legs and living as a coffee table. So then the furniture creation began.
What is something you had to put off because of the pandemic that you have recently done or is on your list to do soon?
To quit smoking.
What does your art future hold for you?
I have always lived my life as boldly, generously and kindly as possible and ridden life to where it takes me. I dont really predict where my future is, I just arrive there.
Artists are aways bombarded by how great it is to pursue their passion, etc. but we know from a lot of people that it is not always that easy.
Overall, would you say things have gotten better for you as an artist in South Florida? Definitely, things continue to improve now that my work is being seen, purchased and displayed.
As you know, I am impressed with your work; tell our readers more, for example. What are you most proud of, and what sets you apart from others? As for my artwork, I suppose I am most proud of the way I challenge myself and allow ideas to enter my mind frame as I am working. I know when a piece doesn’t work and love how something terrible can be transformed into something beautiful.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
I have no idea. I only know I must paint. However, I am not motivated to market myself and my work.
Name a famous artist that inspires you and one not yet famous artist you would like readers to know about.
Wassily Kandinsky (and Jackson Pollack) probably inspire me the most, but it’s such a hard question to answer because my inspiration comes from so many outlets and creators. Jarrad Tacon-Heaslip out of Detroit, originally from New Zealand, is the absolute best when it comes to stripe art, with his use of color and resin.
What inspired you to be an artist, and what inspiration can you pass on to others?
What inspires me to create art—I studied Art History in college, and it was one of my favorite courses. I had a partner when I was in my thirties who was an incredible and creative interior designer who taught me about style and mid century furnishings. I learned so much, and my home in Miami, after renovations, was actually published in Better Homes and Gardens. This led me, I suppose, to create art. It was also an outlet to relieve the pressure of lockdown as well as relief from the trauma I experienced. I always prefer to produce art that “reads” as happy and beautiful as opposed to anything “dark”
How are you giving back to the community:
I have held art clinics for the local kids on my street during lockdown when there was only home study for them at that time.
Mentors: My friend Frank Ward, a fellow local artist, has always pushed me, and I can count on brutal honesty from him. He encouraged me to continue to paint when I first began.
I was once asked if I had recently been kicked in the head because of my sudden immersion into producing fairly decent art.
Preferred Email Address:
Preferred email: [email protected]