Zjawinska was born in Poland where she began to
paint at the early age of six. She earned her B.A. degree in 1972 from the
School of Architecture in Warsaw. To follow her own dream of being an
artist, Joanna then studied at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts where
she perfected her unique style of oil and watercolor painting. In 1978 she was
awarded a masters degree in Graphic Design with honors in painting from the academy which is one of the most prestigious school in Europe.
In 1979 Joanna came to San Francisco with her husband, Mark, and daughter,
Sonia, and formally launched her career.
Joanna’s paintings transport us to worlds of fantasy and elegance in
images that explore complex, passionate relationships. Inspired by artists
such as Vermeer, Degas and Sargent, Joanna expresses her passion for
life, her family, her homeland and her adopted home. Her world is feminine
her early paintings were filled with beautiful and chic people, theatrical
scenery and voyeurism, her current work tells a simpler story. Still
influenced by cinema, fashion and music, Zjawinska strives to create
beauty in face and form, in landscape or abstract setting, and this
theme remains integral to her work. She relies on strong composition
and a deeper palette to create visions of mysterious women who seek
and reveal passion.
paintings are housed in many prestigious private and public collections
including the National Museum in Torun, Poland; the Polish Institute
of New York; Guerlain Perfumes, Paris; Elizabeth
Arden, San Francisco; Nordstrom, Inc., Seattle; Warner/Vanderbilt, New
York; and the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. She has exhibited in numerous
galleries both international and national. In 2001 she had a retrospective show "The sweet taste of freedom" in famous Napa Valley winery of Robert Mondavi and in 2003 her show "A handsome husband is better than a mink coat" was at Saks Fifth Avenue in San Francisco.
Ms. Zjawinska has received
renown for her rich, expressive oils and watercolors as well as for
her outstanding collections of limited edition serigraphs.