From hand blown glass to pastel paintings, Joan Partridge has always been artistic.
It was evident Joan Partridge would become an artist.
She was constantly sketching.
So, when she was in elementary school, her parents enrolled her in an art class at a suburban extension of Temple University.
Every Saturday for two years, Patridge would work on oil painting.
“Being in studios in an art school when you’re 12, it gives you a real friendly, welcoming atmosphere that you keep with you all your life,” Partridge said.
Because of this artistic background, Partridge knew she wanted art to be involved in her career path. When her children were in elementary school, Partridge started her own company, Art Advisory Service, and spent 17 years appointing fine art pieces to Fortune 500 company offices.
Like most of her life, her free time was, and still is, spent creating art.
Partridge, who splits time between Longboat Key and New Jersey, creates hand-blown glass pieces, a medium she learned about 25 years ago.
She said art, more specifically the former Longboat Key Center for the Arts, was one of the reasons she ended up on Longboat Key. As soon as she moved here, she started taking classes, and eventually was president of the arts center.
Although the art center is gone, she works privately with a master artist doing still life, portraits and landscapes. She also spends time in Sarasota making her hand blown glass pieces, which she thought was a nice jumping point from her stone work.
“Once you work in stone, you want to stay in 3D,” she said.
Compared to stone, Partridge said hand-blown glass is easier to work with and move. She can make three pieces in one day.
Before going to a hot shop, where the glass is made, Partridge sketches an idea. Whether it’s fruit, a vase or an abstract piece, she knows what colors and design she wants ahead of time.
The first glass piece Partridge made was a vase, which she said is everyone’s first piece. However, she wanted hers to be different.
“Mine was a vase that didn’t sit straight,” she said. “You don’t want a straight vase because that’s boring. You want a little angle, a little lip.”
She said hand blown glass has kept her mind growing.
“You must keep learning,” she said.
She said it’s easy, especially for women, to feel like they have to please other people, including family and friends, but with her art, it’s for her.
It’s a bonus when friends and family and others appreciate it.
“It makes me feel outside of myself, in another realm of creativity,” she said. “It’s always surprising, like ‘Oh my gosh! Look what I did! I love it!’ So it’s nice to please other people, but it’s nice to please yourself as well.”