Joanna Carrabbio

Artist Statement

The natural world is my subject matter. My love for it is expressed through painting and drawing. As an art educator, I saw firsthand how you could engage a person on a creative path. To illustrate my process I propose a quotation drawn from a text by Rachel Carson (On a Farther Shore, The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson” by William Souder) Rachel Carson says, “…the concept of nature was itself a tricky construct, but that she liked the simple definition that identified nature as “the part of the world that man did not make.” Carson goes on to say that she was often mystified by the reaction when she showed people the many forms of life flourishing in a tidal pool. Were these living entities edible? Could they be made into some kind of useful product? Carson said she could scarcely understand these questions when it was impossible to “assign a value” to creatures so exquisite that their mere existence should be cause for contentment with the peerless universe.” I feel the same way. I will always be attentive to children because they are the future, attentive also to colors, textures, patterns, light, shadow and the vastness in nature.


Joanna Carrabbio, originally from Michigan, earned a BFA from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan in 1973 in painting and drawing. WSU’s art faculty, Mary Jane Bigler, John Egner, Tom Parrish and Robert Wilbert infused the love of painting and drawing and visual communication into her life, especially, through the mediums of oil and watercolor painting. A visiting artists program at Wayne State University acquainted her with artists Jennifer Bartlett, Elizabeth Murray and Michael Goldberg who instilled the importance of originality and the power of art that enables us to make the kind of leap of imagination that frees your mind.

After graduation and travel she relocated to Los Angeles, California. She obtained teaching credentials from UCLA and California State University, Dominguez Hills. She successfully taught drawing, painting, sculpture and advanced placement art for the Los Angeles Unified School District for 27 years. During this period she also did free-lance work as a fine and graphic artist with mural commissions for EMI-Capitol Records and the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department. A drawing of hers was included in "Drawings USA", Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul Minnesota. She has been published in several books on murals, “Painting the Towns”, “Street Gallery” both by Robin Dunitz. And “The Foot of the Wall” and “The Secret of Scratchboard” both by Marco Elliott, published in Paris, France by LTA. Recently, (2014), Marco Elliott and Joanna Carrabbio were credited in a Los Angeles Museum of Art exhibition “Edward Biberman, Abbott Kinney and the Story of Venice”.

After living in Los Angeles for 35 years, in 2009, she and her family relocated to Eugene, Oregon. She lives with her husband, Marco Elliott who is also an artist and an author. They have a grown daughter, Chloe Elliott, who attends the University of Oregon.


Pacific Marine Historical Center
Tidal Waters Illustrated, Newport, OR
Sept. 11, 2015 – Feb. 21, 2016

Vistra Framing & Gallery
160 East Broadway, Eugene, OR 97401
November 1 – November 30, 2015

Morning Glory Café,
450 Willamette St., Eugene, OR 97401
April 16 – May 31, 2015

Maude Kearns Art Center
1910 E. 15th Ave., Eugene, OR 97403
November 15 – December 31, 2014

The Art Annex
749 Willamette Street, Eugene, OR 97401
May 1 – May 31, 2013

Bush Barn Art Center
600 Mission Street SE, Salem, OR 97302
June 1 – July 28, 2012

Galerie Sommerlath, Michele Sommerlath – French 50’s 60’s
One Kings Lane, Venice, CA 90291
June 2009 – November 2010


Below listed are published books that use Joanna Carrabbio' work:

   - Street Galllery: Guide to 1000 Los Angeles Murals by Robin Dunitz

   - Painting the Towns: Murals of California by Robin Dunitz and James Prigoff

   - La pied du mur by Marco Elliott

   - Secrets de la carte a gratter by Marco Elliott


Guild of Natural Science Illustrators (GNSI)

Vistra Framing & Gallery
160 East Broadway, Eugene, Oregon 97402

Water Color Society Of Oregon