Saturday, 16 January 2021

 Hi everyone,

I hope you're all doing okay and not finding lockdown 3 too difficult. Big hugs to you all!

Several weeks ago, between lockdowns, I was lucky enough to be involved in running one of my art sessions for Wave, during filming about their work for Songs of Praise.

It's going to be aired tomorrow January 17th 2021, at 1.15pm on BBC1, so do have a watch - I'll be lurking about in the background and you can find out more about the amazing and groundbreaking work that Wave do.

If you miss it tomorrow afternoon you can find it on iplayer by following this link:

Huge thanks to Ben and everyone at Wave for their continued support, and the brilliant work that they do. Here's a link to the Wave Cafe website: 

My work with Union Chapel continues, and we're back online in the afternoons. 

From Tuesday Jan. 12th, 4-5pm I'll be working with UC's Culture Cafe to offer a series of free weekly drop in sessions, with a focus on colour. They'll comprise of a mixture of discussions focused on colour theory and the meaning of colour, as well as a short practical demonstration on how colour is used in art. 

Please email me on for the zoom link to join.

If you fancy spending a whole day learning about different art techniques and having fun making stuff, please join me online for my Super Art Saturday course run through Adult Learning Lewisham. 

Due to take place in the classroom at Brockley Rise, this has now moved onto Zoom, and will happen on Saturday January 23rd, from 10am - 3.30pm.

We'll explore watercolour and wax resist, make a portrait using acrylic paint, and do a variety of observational drawing exercises. To find out more and book your place please go here:

Finally, if you missed the exhibition "Hell and Highwater" that took place in November on LV21, you can still visit it online by going here:

Many thanks to Michelle Russell, who wrote this lovely review of the exhibition:

Some Thoughts on Hell or High Water, an exhibition of films set on board the ship LV21 -

The lightship LV21 is now transformed for this fascinating exhibition and provides many echoes from its seafaring history to inspire artists of today.  These are just a few thoughts on a small selection of my personal favourites of the many works shown.

I enjoyed Caroline Gregory's 'Welcome aboard', and the camera taking us through the ship - all the different parts of the vessel, the brightly painted hull, the decks, the inside passageways, the portholes, the cabins no longer occupied by the sailors but now given over to artists.  Mystery of a ship no longer at sea - its nautical architecture is inspirational - its previous life was in the water, but no longer, only the outward vestiges remain of what was once needed to survive in its former life.

Sarah Sparkes is the puppeteer seen in the background of her film, pulling the strings of a light blue tiny dinosaur-like being, (from a heraldic image of the Azure Porcupine) - it has a quiff of upright little blue spines.

It is delightful to watch the little azure marionette figure dancing and playing round its small space inside the ship, and we enjoy the playfulness, and somehow long forgotten memories of our childhood are evoked - eventually in its wanderings it lights upon a large blue sculptured head, a kind of figurehead - with staring eyes, also with a quiff, though a larger and darker one with taller spines - the little one is playing and dancing again, this time trying to get attention and a response as it touches and moves closer and snuggles up to the head, wanting to play - the blue head is unresponsive - is it just an inanimate object, or is it its mother, strange rejecting mother, or is it just a stranger - and why does it not move in response - could it be - dead? Its continual non-response becomes very poignant.  Eventually the litte azure figure flops down disconsolately and movement gradually stops.  The whole event is mesmerising though it only lasts a few minutes.  It touches the heart.

In the next film by Sarah she is seen wearing the large blue head!, transformed into a headdress and in its authentic role as figurehead of the ship - the artist walks along the deck and looks out from the prow - the large blue head is redeemed somehow and stands for adventure as it looks out to sea and the wide blue yonder and its infinite possibilities and we look out with it.

Tracey Francis'  films have a  little girl collecting pebbles and stones - 'it's fun' she says, and we join in too, - but can it be fun for ever? - the stones build up and accumulate, so many stones have been gathered through the years and as she becomes a woman the stones become more heavy and weighty -  'The weight she has to carry' - responsibilities, sorrow, stresses - all carried somehow but not complaining - just carrying the stones - and then as the girl becomes an adult in society she takes part in political action to change the world - and share the load

- Joanna McCormick's eerie singing ghost makes strange sounds of lamentation aboard the ship, surrounded by the remembered images, now lovingly handmade into monoprints, of the sailors who were once there in person but where are they now - the shipmates have gone -quiet atmosphere inside of an abandoned ship - but there is still sound to be heard, beautiful tinkling piano music interspersed with the crashing of the waves, the ship has had its being faraway at sea, so far from land - the film drifts from the present to the past, and back again - is she waving or drowning?, did the mariners come safely home or were they lost at sea?

These are just my personal highlights,

Thank you so much to the curator and all the artists for a wonderful and deeply moving experience

That's all for now. I hope to see you again in person, once this awful pandemic is over!

Friday, 25 December 2020

 Hi everyone, I'm wishing you all the best for a happy holiday and a nice restful break.

Thank you so much for those of you who've supported my art practice or attended my classes this year, I really appreciate it!

Looking forward to seeing you in what I hope will be brighter and happier times in 2021.

Here's a link to the video about Santa that I wrote the script for. I hope you enjoy it:

With love and best wishes - Joanna

Monday, 7 December 2020

 Dear everyone,

I hope you're keeping nice and cosy in the cold!

I've teamed up with artists Anna Kompaniets and Liz Cooke for an Xmas Art Pop Up open studios, in association with Camberwell Arts.

We'll be opening the door to 6A Wilson Road SE5 8PB, in Camberwell, every weekend before Christmas, from midday to 4pm.

Come and explore our wondrous grotto of delights, with amazing gift ideas for Xmas and all year round!

We are Covid secure, with hand sanitisers and a one way system. Please wear a mask and observe social distancing.

This Saturday - Dec. 12th - I'll be offering a watercolour demo at 1pm, and on Sunday 13th I'll be offering socially distant monoprinting micro classes, both free, throughout the day.

Reply to this email to secure a spot. 

Tomorrow, Tuesday December 8th, will be the last Culture Cafe session online, and we'll be hosting a sing along! Come and join us on Zoom from 2 - 3pm. There may be carols!

Here's the link to join:

Join Zoom Meeting 

Meeting ID: 867 1943 8724
Passcode: 790796

After that we'll be back in person upstairs in the bar at Union Chapel, Islington. Every Wednesday from 11am - 12.30pm. Starting next week - December 16th.

Join us for creative activities centred around drawing, and/or a socially distant chat, cup of tea or coffee. All for free.

For more information go here:

Finally, I was very happy to take part in Camberwell Arts Festival last weekend. For a sneaky peek into my studio please go to the you tube video here:

I hope you're all keeping well, and look forward to seeing some of you soon.

Saturday, 21 November 2020

 Hi everyone!

I hope you are all doing okay.

Just a reminder about the launch for "Hell or Highwater" that happened yesterday. You can view the exhibition online by going here:

There's a lovely film of the artworks and performances, as well as activities. For example you can print a zine by Rachael House, and learn how to make a paper boat with Janet Currier.

Here's one of the sailor monoprints that I made for the show:

This December sees the next 10 week run of my Exploring Creativity zoom course. 
Every Tuesday morning from 10am - 1pm we take a look at an artist and find out about their life and work. We have a discussion, and then make work to a theme inspired by the artist. The cost is pay what you can, maximum £20 per class, minimum £5 per class, and you can attend all 10 weeks or just one, or anything in between!

For more info or to join please ping me an email with "Exploring Creativity Course" in the subject line.

Here's what I have planned for the Winter Run:

Tuesdays 10am -1pm on Zoom.

1. 1st Dec. William Morris -
Floral patterns in pen, ink and watercolour

2. 8th Dec. The Pre Raphaelites -
Luminous colour, flat and detailed brushwork in acrylic

3. 15th Dec. Bonnard-
Impressionist techniques in oil paint

4. 22nd Dec. Felix Nussbaum -
German surrealism and the Holocaust

5. 29th Dec. Monet -
French impressionism and nature

6. 5th Jan. Manet -
Realism VS Impressionism

7. 12th Jan. Martha Jungwirth -
Mixed media expressive abstraction

8. 19th Jan. Leger -
Figurative cubism

9. 26th Jan. Renoir -
Impressionist figuration. We will have a life model this week, please be prepared to pay an extra £5 towards the session

10. 2nd Feb. Claude Lorraine -
Romantic landscape painting

Also in December I'm running another all day life drawing class online. Streamed live from the classroom at Adult Learning Lewisham you'll get the chance to work all day on a variety of short and long poses, working up to a very long pose after lunch. 
The cost is £35 full price, £21.50 concessions. For more info and to book please go here: 

I'm delighted to be taking part in Camberwell Arts Open Studios online event. It takes place from November 28th - December 6th, more information can be found here:

Finally, I've set up a page where you can support my work by "buying me a coffee". To find out more, and maybe buy me a coffee, just click the link here:

That's all for now folks, stay warm and well and have a lovely winter season!

With love and best wishes Joanna

Joanna McCormick, artist.

Monday, 16 November 2020

 I'm running some free creative activities on zoom on Tuesday afternoons 2-3pm, for Union Chapel's Culture Cafe.

Starting tomorrow with drawing autumn leaves. You'll need pencils, paper and a rubber. And watercolour paints if you have them, but don't worry if you haven't.

No need to book, simply follow this zoom link at 2pm tomorrow to join:

Join Zoom Meeting 

Meeting ID: 867 1943 8724
Passcode: 790796

It's a recurring link, live until the last class on December 8th.


I'm very excited to have been invited by curator Caroline Gregory to take part in this nautical adventure, with a medley of amazing artists: 

Rachel House, Janet Currier, Sarah Doyle, Rosalind Faram, Tracey Francis, Mikey Georgeson, Julia Maddison, Sarah Sparkes and Monika Tobel.

I've made a new soundscape, live art interaction, monoprints and a film. You can listen to the soundscape on Soundcloud by following this link:

The monoprints are for sale - please email me at: for details.

The show is launching online this Friday November 20th, at noon, to find out more and view the wonderful content go to LV21's website here:

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Dear everyone, 

I hope you are all doing well during these increasingly challenging times. 

I'm very delighted to be exhibiting for "Hell or Highwater" curated by Caroloine Gregory. Due to take place on LV21, a ship that's also an art centre moored at Gravesend, the exhibition has had to move online, and will be taking place over the internet on Nov. 20th - 22nd. 
More details to follow, meanwhile, here's the flyer and link to the LV21 website:
This Saturday I'll be teaching life drawing online from 10am - 3.30pm. We have model Steve, and the cost is £35 full price for the day, £21.50 concessions. To enrol please go here: 

The last class of my 10 week Autumn run for Exploring Creativity will take place this Tuesday morning via zoom. We will be exploring alla prima oil painting, focussing on artist Robert Henri. The cost is pay what you can, £20 full price, £5 minimum. We'll be having a two week break, with another 10 week run starting on December 1st. Please email me at if you're interested in joining or would like more information. 

My work for Union Chapel continues, and we will be moving online on Tuesday afternoons during this period of lockdown, The sessions will last one hour, and are free. I'll be sending out more details and a timetable on Monday evening. 

 With love and best wishes - Joanna

Sunday, 6 September 2020

 Hi everyone!

Now Autumn is creeping up upon us, I'd like to share some creative zoom classes that will help keep you cosy.

From this week, I'll be running the Autumn term of my private independent class Exploring Creativity, on Tuesdays 10am - 1pm - here's the timetable:


Autumn Run 2020 on Zoom Sept 8th – Nov 10th taught by Joanna McCormick

Week 1 Sept. 8thSoraya Sharghi

Figurative florals, bright colours and use of outline

Week 2 Sept. 15th Andre Derain

Broad brushwork and Fauvism

Week 3 Sept. 22nd Jean Cooke

Unsettling domesticity and painterly techniques

Week 4 Sept. 29thKimbal Bumstead

Radical abstraction

Week 5 Oct. 6th Botticelli

Egg tempera – we will be making egg tempera paint from scratch, you will 

need powder pigment and egg yolks

Week 6 Oct. 13thLouise Borgeouis

Sculpture and installation

Week 7 Oct 20thEl Greco

The Spanish Renaissance

Week 8 Oct. 27th Jean – Jacques Grandville

Nineteenth Century illustration and caricature

Week 9 Nov. 3rd Nancy Spero

Printmaking and collage

Week 10 Nov. 10thRobert Henri

Alla Prima impressionism, we will be using oil paints this week

Wave Cafe's Art Club on Zoom starts up again with a change of time - 3pm, on Thursday afternoons. Read on for more information!

First, Exploring Creativity - we look at a different artist each week, and spend the first hour learning about them and their life, and then we have a discussion. After a short break we make practical work to a theme, inspired by that week's artist. 

The classes are informative and fun, with lots of learning and a very friendly atmosphere (albeit on Zoom!).

I'm keeping it on Zoom, and I'm keeping it as a pay what you can class, fees payable by bank transfer. The minimum price is £5 per class, and maximum price is £20 per class, or anything in between - whatever you can afford. You can attend just one class, or all 10, or any number - just let me know. You can pay in instalments, or up front. 

I'm also offering a special discount deal for those of you who are unable to attend the live sessions. 

For a flat fee of £35, you'll receive all the information on the artist each week via email - I usually send these emails out on Sunday afternoon/evening. You'll also have access to the email sharing thread, where students and I post images of the work we've made in class to share and discuss, and I'll send you a video of half an hour of the demo each week via email, which will be sent to you by Wednesday evening every week. So you can read all about the artists, share your work and see other students' work in the email thread, and make artwork by following my demo via the video, at a time that suits you.

If you're interested in joining "live", or in taking up the special discount offer, please email me as soon as possible - the first class takes place this Tuesday morning, September 8th.

WAVE CAFE - After an August break Wave returns this month! Every Thursday at 3pm. Initially on Zoom, we are hoping to get back to real life next month. Here's the schedule:

WAVE TIMETABLE September 2020

Sept. 10th – How to draw a mermaid in the water. You will need a pencil, some paper and an eraser.

Sept. 17th – Ideas for painting a pebble. You will need some pebbles, acrylic or gouache paints in different colours, a small brush and a jar of water.

Sept. 24th – Making a decorative box. You’ll need thin A4 card, a ruler, some sellotape or masking tape and coloured pencils or felt pens.

Oct. 1st – How to draw 3D shapes. You will need a pencil, some paper, an eraser and coloured pencils/felt pens.

And here's the Zoom link to join, it's a recurring link, so please keep it in a safe place to use it each week:

Topic: Wave Art Club

Time: Sep 10, 2020 03:00 PM London
        Every week on Thu,

        Sep 10, 2020 03:00 PM
        Sep 17, 2020 03:00 PM
        Sep 24, 2020 03:00 PM
        Oct 1, 2020 03:00 PM
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 881 7020 5349
Passcode: autumn art

I hope to see you soon, stay safe and well!

Best wishes - Joanna