HFCI is the grateful recipient of a beautiful painting of the Old School by local artist, Joan Strickland, donated by her daughter, Tobey A. Martin. Strickland, who died in 1993, was a well-known artist and teacher of watercolor with a studio in Fairfax Station. The Old School depicted in the painting was constructed part in 1873 and part in 1912 as the original Fairfax Elementary School, and it now houses the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center.
More About Joan Strickland
R. Joan Strickland Jackson was an artist and teacher of watercolor with a studio in Fairfax Station, Virginia. She painted under her maiden name Strickland. She first studied transparent watercolors in high school under James Previtall. She later studied with Eliot O’Hara for ten years. Her work is described by critics as “crisp and sparkling” and “covetable”. The Strickland style is strong, colorful and direct, yet subtle and elegant. She enjoyed painting “au plein aire”; the experience keeps her colors and values fresh and alive.
Strickland’s watercolors have been exhibited in the Corcoran Gallery, The Arts Club of Washington, The Rockville Civic Center, The Left Bank Gallery of St. Simons Island, Ga. and the Side Porch Gallery.
She was known for her commission work throughout the Washington, D.C. region. Strickland’s commission work also included a castle in Scotland, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in Atlanta, an apartment building in Paris, bridges in Switzerland, and portraits of people and horses. She has painted in many areas of this country and abroad as represented in many of her watercolors. For many years, the Clifton Community Woman’s Club had commissioned Strickland to paint “portraits” of the homes on the annual Clifton Homes Tour. The watercolors were presented to the participating homeowners. She was an annual participant in the City of Fairfax Fall Festival in the late 1970s and 1980s displaying her paintings.
The changing face of Fairfax had provided Strickland with a rich source of subject matter since she moved to Virginia in 1972. The dramatic changes in Fairfax over the years lend an historical significance to an already desirable body of work.