For years now Joanne Young has made a name for herself in 100 Mile House and the surrounding area as the artist who paints windows.
Young said she’s best known as “the Window Woman” or the lady you see out on the street painting windows like she has for the last decade or so. As she’s getting older and her joints are putting up with less wear and tear, Young is in the process of slowing down and passing her skills on to the next generation.
She first arrived in 100 Mile House in 2005 after Young retired from 35 years of teaching in the Delta School District and shortly after she earned a master’s in art education. She’s used her teaching credentials and love of art since to teach students at local schools and do projects with them when called upon, as she loves working with the community
“We’ve been here a while and been loving every minute of it, we’ve moved into heaven,” Young remarked.
She first began painting on glass by painting on antique windows she has around her house, which she still makes to this day, figuring out which paints worked better. Her window painting career began in 2009 when she befriended the owner of a diner in 108 Mile Ranch who, after seeing her work on a chalkboard and her own home windows, asked her to paint a winter scene on her store windows from Christmas. From there Young said it just snowballed as more and more places wanted some window artwork done.
Young said she loves the appreciation she gets from the community she’s brightening up when she’s out working on windows. In truth, if she didn’t have to charge for the service she wouldn’t as the joy she takes in her work and the feedback she receives is so fulfilling and gratifying, especially from children.
“I love coming up with sayings and you just develop an idea from who the client is and what they want, so there’s a connection between their business and what’s happening on the window,” Young said.
She wants people to know that what she does isn’t just a slap it on and be done style of painting. Using special oil-based paint she layers the work and carefully sketches it out beforehand, always on a clean surface. There are many tips and tricks she’s learned over the years to do this right, which is what is now passing on to her protege Brodie Carr.
Carr is a graphic artist who trained on the coast, Young said, who moved her and is now looking to find a niche to fill in the community. She’s been wonderful to work with, Young said, adding Carr can come up with a sketch fast and is eager to learn.
“I wanted to pass along my knowledge to her so that she can eventually take over my business Creating Joy in Art. I am not retiring tomorrow… I’m still working but eventually, I will be retired and so I’m trying to teach her the skills that I have and empower her,” Young said.
One of the main things that Young teaches both Carr and all her art students is that you don’t have to have the most fantastic expensive materials to do art. All you need to do is look closely at your work to find the details that will make the art come together.
“So many people are afraid that they’re going to get it wrong, there isn’t a wrong,” Young said, adding that young artists should never be afraid to try creating art.