Joanna Barnum NWS is a painter exploring the expressive potential of watercolor with a particular focus on the portrait. Based in Maryland, she exhibits and teaches around the country and creates projects for publication.



Joanna Barnum uses watercolor to express universal emotional states and the unique spirits of her portrait subjects, balancing experimental, abstract use of the media with sensitive realism and symbolism. View the full collection.


Landscapes painted directly from life, including works from juried paint out competitions. View the full collection.


In 2016, Joanna was selected to participate in NASA's James Webb Space Telescope artist project, invited to observe the new telescope in person and create works inspired by it for exhibits at NASA Goddard, Art.Science.Gallery, and the Texas Museum of Science and Technology during 2017 and 2018. View the full collection.


Illustration for Overlight, Renegade Game Studios

Illustration: Overlight
Preorder/Available in September

I recently had the opportunity to create illustrations for the supplemental materials for Overlight, a new RPG created by Paul Alexander Butler and George Holland, published by Renegade Game Studios. My work can be found as the interiors for the sourcebook "The Skyborn Order and Its Enemies," available in September, and for more materials to be announced soon. More information.

plein air event/group exhibition: wayne plein air festival
Festival: may 6-13, Exhibit: May 13-June 30, 2018
wayne art center, wayne, pa

Although this exhibit has concluded, the work from the event is still available for sale online through the Wayne Art Center's website. More information.

Group Exhibition: Baltimore Watercolor Society, Mid-Atlantic Regional Watercolor Exhibition
June 9-July 14, 2018, Reception: June 24, 2-4pm
BlackRock Center for the Arts, Germantown, MD

My painting "Anguish" was selected for the annual Mid-Atlantic Regional Watercolor Exhibition of the Baltimore Watercolor Society, and has received the Group A Award. More information.

Event Judge: Rehearse Quick Draw, Plein Air Easton
July 19, 2018
Easton, MD

I will be the guest judge and instructor for the Thursday "Rehearse Quick Draw" event at Plein Air Easton, sponsored by Chesapeake Fine Art Studio. There is also a Friday edition, which will be judged by my colleague Bruno Baran. This event allows artists to try out the quick draw experience in a less stressful setting, while receiving critique and assistance from Chesapeake instructors, in preparation for Easton's famous Saturday Quick Draw event. More information/Registration.

Convention/Exhibition/Demonstration: Dragon Con (art show)
August 31-Sept 3, 2018
Atlanta, GA

I was selected by the jury to exhibit my work in the Dragon Con Art Show. My work will be part of the wall display and print shop. I will not have a table presence, but will be in attendance at the convention. I will also be giving a demonstration of my process as part of the Art Show programming, final schedule TBA. A convention badge/event admission is required to visit the art show. More information.

Group Exhibition: Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, 39th Juried Exhibition
September 15-October 20, 2018, Reception: September 15, 12-4pm
Crary Art Gallery, Warren, PA

I'm pleased to have my painting "Sea Witch" included in this annual juried watercolor exhibition.

Plein Air Event/Group Exhibition: Mountain Maryland
September 24-29, 2018
Allegany Arts Council
Cumberland, MD

I will be competing as a juried artist at this week long plein air painting event. Previous work from the artists will be on display at the Arts Council all week, with a collector's opening on Friday night and a public viewing on Saturday of the new work completed during the week.

Class: weekly Sessions in Watercolor
Select mondays 1-4pm
Next Session: October 15, 22, 29, November 29 (4 Consecutive weeks)
Chesapeake Fine Art Studio
Stevensville, MD

Watercolor classes on select Mondays. All levels, topics, and approaches welcome. Drop-ins welcome. More information.

convention/exhibition: Illuxcon (showcase)
october 19 & 20, 2018
goggleworks center for the arts, reading, pa

I will be exhibiting my work in the Friday and Saturday evening open "Showcase" event at the adjoining DoubleTree Hotel location, in conjunction with this exhibition and convention of Imaginative Realism that runs October 17-21. The Showcase is free and open to the public. The main convention is ticketed.

Workshop: Watercolor Portraits, Fundamentals and Exploration
April 25 & 26, 2019
York Fine Arts
Bridgewater, NJ

More information.