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.


  Gaze, 2017- Currently included in "H2OMG, Watercolor Gone Wild" at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton, CA.

Gaze, 2017- Currently included in "H2OMG, Watercolor Gone Wild" at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton, CA.


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.


Class: Spring/Summer Sessions in Watercolor
Select mondays 1-4pm- Next Session TBA
Chesapeake Fine Art Studio
609 Thompson Creek Rd, Stevensville, MD

Watercolor classes on select Mondays- next session TBA. All levels, topics, and approaches welcome. More information.
NOTE: May 28 class has been cancelled!

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

I will be competing as a juried artist, creating new landscape paintings during the week throughout the region, which will be on exhibit and available for sale starting with the ticketed soiree on May 12. The exhibit is open to the public through June 30 at the Wayne Art Center.
More information.

workshop/lecture: Introduction to Travel Sketchbooks
May 9, 2-3:30pm
Howard County Public Library, Elkridge Branch
6540 Washington Blvd, Elkridge, MD 21075

Joanna Barnum, an award winning watercolor painter and Illustrator, discusses her travel sketchbooks and explains how artists of any skill level can start their own book. Learn about the supplies that she uses to document scenes in her sketchbooks while on the road and see examples. Free, RSVP recommended. More information.

Group Exhibition: Southern Watercolor Society, 41st Annual Juried Exhibition
May 15-June 22, 2018, Opening: May 19
ArtCenter Manatee, Bradenton, FL

My painting "Contemplation II" was selected for the 41st Annual Juried Exhibition of the Southern Watercolor Society. (I will not be present in person at the opening for this exhibit). More information.

Workshop: Portraits in Watercolor
may 20, 2018
Columbia Art Center, Columbia, MD
More information.

plein air event/group exhibition: Paint Annapolis
June 3-10, 2018
Maryland federation of art, annapolis, md

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.
More information.

workshop: Luminous Portraits & Simultaneous Realities
June 25-27, 2018
Millsboro Art League, Millsboro, DE
More information.

convention/exhibition: Illuxcon
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.