Joanne Youngberg (February 21, 1919-May 30, 2014)
Friday evening my step-mother peacefully died in her Yountville home. We were fortunate to have painted together for the past five years every Wednesday. After our tuna sandwiches we would spend the afternoon together, she with a bouquet of flowers and I usually with just one or two. We had two shows of our work, one at the Napa Valley Museum and one at the Yountville Community Center.
Joanne was a native Californian who had been painting for most of her life. She majored in Fine Arts at the University of Southern California and worked for a number of years as an interior decorator in Chicago. She lived in the Napa Valley for forty five years, originally in Napa and in Yountville for twenty five and is one of the original founders of the Depot Gallery in Yountville.
Originally she worked in oils painting a variety of subjects from portraits to the loveliness of the Napa Valley. As an avid gardener, her focus has always been flowers and plants. In 2009 I had just started playing with the Albrect Durer watercolor pencils that I got from a Wendy Hollender workshop. Joanne had not painted in many years. When she saw what I was doing she said, “I want to do that!” The rest as they say is history. The pictures in the side bar this month are from our exhibit at the Napa Valley Museum, A Year in Flowers.