Photo of Joanne Hastie with one of her robot armsAbout Joanne

I am an artist based in Vancouver BC, Canada. My art is primarily of colorful landscapes and cityscapes of the beautiful Pacific North West and of places I have been to.

For over a decade I have been working as an R&D Engineer in various companies while painting on evenings and weekends. I have kept both careers very separate as they have very different communities and expertise… until recently.

My first tech-art project was painting using a small desktop robotic arm in 2017.  For this project, I taught myself to code in Python. This work earned a 5th place in the 2018 International Robot Art competition and international press. Since then, I have been incorporating algorithms and robotics into my Tech Art projects. My painting robots have been installed in exhibits in Vancouver, Canada, London, UK and Los Angeles.


Artist Statement

My work can be divided into two categories – Fine Art Paintings and Tech Art Paintings. Although the work is visually different: as one category is representational and the other is abstract, both types of work inform each other. I continue to pursue and create both types of work.

 Photo of Joanne Hastie painting a large landscape painting

Fine Art Painting

I paint the outdoors. Living in British Columbia, I am inspired by mountain landscapes, sunlit forest trees and busy city streets. My paintings are of places I have been to from my experiences marathon running, road cycling, mountain biking and traveling. While I do these activities, I always carry a camera or sketchbook with me to take photos and document places that I then refer to when painting in my studio.

As a self-taught artist, I have developed my own painting style using layers of discrete colors of brush strokes to create a scene. I use acrylic paint and glazing mediums because they dry quickly, allowing me to quickly add the next layers of paint. I often try to minimize the brush strokes in a painting, I focus on colors and let the brush strokes be visible in the final painting. The final painting better correlates to the memory of the place, which is not as detailed or precise as the photograph.

I have also recently been painting on vibrant, colorful still life paintings, this work allows me to further develop my painting technique and color palette.

 Photo of Joanne Hastie with her xArm7

Tech Art

I love the process of learning new technologies and finding unique applications for it. I am formally trained as a mechanical engineer and for several years of my engineering career I worked as a Technology Research Manager in the bike industry. Tech Art allows me to merge fine art and engineering together.

For the past three years, I have applied my knowledge of robotics and artificial intelligence into the process of fine art painting. The result has been automating different portions of the artistic process including the ideation, the curation and the painting process.

Since automating my work in these projects, I have become more aware of my painting process in detail. When I use artificial intelligence, I need to be aware of my internal dialog and decision-making process in order to program it. Likewise, when I program a robot to paint, I must have awareness of my body’s physical painting movements so I can mimic the movements with a robot.

For example, my robot uses the same process of layering discrete brush strokes when I paint: The robot will clean the brush between colors and allows time for the paint to dry, this is the same process I use when painting by hand and layering the colors.