Over the last few years, Joan LeMay has primarily been painting (mostly) gouache portraits of (mostly) women, pets and men. She is interested in the history of the nimbus/halo as a visual symbol, and what inserting it in modern and secular settings can do. Cheek-circles are a longtime thread in her portraiture work, and she is very interested in pattern and gesture.
She also paints abstract, action-based oils and gouaches sometimes because she's unduly moved by Mitchell and DeKooning like everyone else; it's part of her practice.
Her work has been exhibited in Houston, Texas (Blaffer Gallery), Pomona, CA (Glass House), Koln, Germany (Kunst Kunst Gallery), Los Angeles, CA (Unitard Gallery, Four Eyes Art Collective), Seattle, WA (Tether Gallery, Velouria, Solo, Crocodile Cafe', The Anne Bonney, Ghost Gallery, Derek Erdman's International House of Paintings), Portland, OR (PDX Salon, Mississippi Studios, The Woods, Tiga, Disjecta Contemporary Art, Albina Press), Anacortes, WA (Cascadia Contemporary Art), Austin, TX (Monstrosity Gallery) and New York City, NY (Brouwerij Lane, Oslo, HiFi).
Her album artwork appears on LPs by Benjamin Gibbard, Laura Gibson, Dave Depper, Jennifer O'Connor, The White Papers, and others. Her illustrations appear in Lenny, Racquet Magazine, Paste Magazine, Broadly and others.
She is currently creating artwork for the upcoming documentary film "It's Not A Burden", produced and directed by the Emmy-nominated team at Greenie Films. She is also, and always, taking portraiture commissions for pets, people and places, and continues to illustrate for multiple outlets.