Asheville Art Talk: Joseph Pearson brings his figure-scapes to Mars Hill

Inside his Pink Dog Creative studio in the River Arts District, artist Joseph Pearson shares one of his favorite quotes. It comes courtesy of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. In the film, Yoda offers Luke Skywalker the following advice: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

The 70-year-old artist considers the statement to be one of his guiding principles. Prior to retiring in 1999, Pearson held a full-time government position as an illustrator in his home state of Mississippi. His illustrations dealt mostly in oceanographic-related charts and graphs. “It wasn’t fun stuff,” he says. Throughout his professional career, though, Pearson made time for his creative endeavors, painting in the early mornings and late evenings. Once he became a father, he incorporated his daughter into his work. “She became my model,” Pearson says. “She’d read to me while I worked.”

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John Fleer