Since I was a young child, I have thought of myself as an artist. I carried my sketchbook with me everywhere I went. It was my friend and constant companion.
I obtained a BA in English following high school —
then put off further formal education in favor of child rearing. During that period, I discovered a deep interest in writing and illustrating books for children. That interest helped motivate me to obtain a MA in English and Writing, once my children were grown. After returning to school, I taught writing at the community college level. I then became certified as an Academic Language Therapist and remediated children with reading, spelling, and writing difficulties for many years.
I missed my art and in 1998 began private lessons with Peggy Brisco after I was given one of her watercolors as a gift. Since then I have studied with many other local and nationally known artists — including Jane E. Jones, Rob Erdle, Suzanne Oldham, Jane Stephenson and Pat Kochan. I have also taken workshops with Don Andrews, Darnell Jones and Doug Walton.
In 1999 I retired to follow my dream and began to paint and write children's books full time. My paintings have been juried into local and national shows and won awards, and my painting WILDFLOWER POTPOURRI won the 1999 Richardson WILDFLOWER! Poster contest.
I am a member of the Texas Visual Arts Association (TVAA), the Richardson Civic Arts Society (RCAS), the Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA), and a signature member of the Southwest Watercolor Society (SWS).
In November 2005, I held a one-woman show at the Coutts Memorial Museum of Art in Kansas. I will have a show at Kathleen's Art Café in Dallas August 14 - September 25 and Kathleen's Art Café in Plano September 25 - November 6, 2006.
My paintings currently hang in the Coutts Memorial Museum of Art, the Richardson Public Library, Northaven United Methodist Church, Nortel Telecommunications, and other corporate and private collections.
About the book: Creativity! That is what The Butterfly's Gift celebrates and encourages in its readers. A beautiful story of the stages in a monarch's development, it is certain to appeal to the curiosity and creativity of eight-to-twelve year olds. This book also includes a sketchbook with steps for drawing and painting a butterfly. Included, are drawing pages, which encourage a child to look closely and learn about other creatures in the world.
This book uses colorful watercolor illustrations, combined with poetic rhythm, to weave a tale of the transformation of a chubby worm to a beautiful butterfly. The worm spends its formative first days eating constantly and growing rapidly. Then it hibernates alone in its chrysalis. During this time, it changes and grows and discovers its true self. When a butterfly emerges from its crystalline egg, it shares its secret that life is about touching others in your own creative, colorful way.
An English teacher and Academic Language Therapist, as well as an artist, Joan Hogge understands the importance of art in helping children develop and appreciate their own unique gifts. Not only does this book beautifully describe the stages of the butterfly's development, but it provides the sketch book as a "safe, contemplative, chrysalis" for children to begin to explore and connect with their own imagination and creativity.
Thus, the chubby worm's transformation can be an inspiration for children to develop their creative wings and touch the world in their own beautiful way.
Audio Interview: The Butterfly's Gift
Hear Joan's interview discussing her children's book, The Butterfly's Gift. She is available to read the book in schools and teach the children how to draw a butterfly, as detailed at the end of her book. Books can be purchased on line through Barnes and Noble, Amazan.com or by emailing Joan at firstname.lastname@example.org.