Meet Tricia Joiner

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One of my greatest pleasures is to walk into a class with one of the Russian masterpieces and listen to the students say, ‘I could never paint that!’ - when I know full well before we are through with the class, I will have them doing just that.”  – Tricia

Tricia Joiner is an internationally known American decorative artist, teacher, and author, who has taught decorative painting extensively in North America, the Pacific Rim, and Europe. As a teacher, she is known for breaking complicated painting techniques into understandable steps. She introduced the world to the now standard three-stage approach to teaching the Zhostovo style and the five-stage approach to Palekh fairy tale painting. She has taught classes for forty years in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Europe. 

Her interest in the decorative arts of the world flows from her desire to trace our artistic and cultural legacy back to its source and extend the authentic techniques to another generation of decorative painters. She works directly with the native painters to maintain the traditional painting style and techniques while adapting them to our modern products and media. She has done this with styles from Switzerland, Dutch Hindeloopen and Russia. Tricia was the first American painter to be invited to study with the lacquer miniature painters from the village of Palekh, Russia, which led to a twenty year relationship with the artists from Palekh and Zhostovo. She has been a driving force behind the mainstreaming of the Hindeloopen, Zhostovo and Palekh styles of painting in the US, Japan, Taiwan and Australia.

Tricia’s first twenty years of teaching and writing helped prepare her for the collaboration with the Russian artists. From Zhostovo, she worked with Russian National Treasure and Master Painter Vyacheslav (Slava) Letkov and his protege, Mikhail (Misha) Lebedev, who is now the Artistic Director of the Zhostovo Factory. Utilizing their designing and painting skills and her teaching and organizational aptitude, they translated the traditional techniques from Zhostovo into a modern decorative painting phenomena that swept across America and then around the world. Tricia directed the projects and subject matter, prepared the instructional materials, and taught the classes.

With Slava’s help, Tricia developed a five-year Master Certification Painting program to pass on the classic Zhostovo painting techniques. Hundreds of students have passed through this program and are teaching these techniques all over the world. Tricia supplies them with new designs, ideas, and motivation. 

Tricia’s collaboration with Slava and Misha has had a significant impact on the factory and the painting style. The factory has incorporated many of the ideas and techniques learned by Slava and Misha through teaching and exposure to the world outside of Russia. It now offers classes using the educational approach that Tricia worked out with them. They have greatly expanded their product lines from the traditional trays to include other surfaces, as the artists used in their American classes. In addition, their extensive teaching has made Zhostovo a worldwide recognizable art form. In order to connect the cultures and artists of Russia and America, Tricia has led five home stay exchange programs bringing artists from Russia to America and America to Russia.

Before spending twenty years on the road travel teaching around the world, Tricia owned and operated a decorative painting shop and school for ten years, instructing hundreds of students. Her publications include four books on European decorative painting, a book of Russian fairy tales and legends, and over 250 instructional packets as well as historical articles and painting designs for The Decorative Painter and numerous other journals. A commissioned piece of her work was presented to former President and Mrs. George H. W. Bush.

Her present goal is to put the certification program into an e-course to be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.  This would allow interested students everywhere the opportunity to study with Tricia and Slava in the comfort of their own homes, without the expense and inconvenience of traveling.   

One of her favorite sayings is - “I’ve traveled to the rainbow’s end

And found not gold…