Joe Hanks Van Cleave Biography
Joe Hanks Van Cleave (December 8, 1920 - February 28, 2003) was born in San Angelo, Texas, and was reared with four sisters and two brothers on farms and ranches in west Texas. Joe spent her adult life and art career in southern California. She began painting at age 11 and studied painting continuously throughout her life at such noted institutes as, The Otis Art Institute, in Los Angeles, the Corcoran Galleries in Washington, DC, and as a student of Paul Wiegardt, Evanston, Illinois.
During Joe's most productive years she studied and painted extensively with, and her work was heavily influenced by, other well-known transparent watercolor artists such as James Cooper Wright, Noel Quinn, Ernest Freed, Robert E. Wood and Rex Brandt.
Joe Hanks Van Cleave painted in all media, with Plein Air Transparent Watercolor, painted on location in the traditional style, as her preferred and most successful medium. She received numerous awards for her watercolor, oil and casein paintings throughout her career. She was a member of the Art Associations of Whittier, La Habra, and Laguna Beach, accepted into the Las Artistas Association, and was a standing member of Watercolor West. She often exhibited at the Laguna Beach Art Association Gallery (now the Laguna Beach Museum of Art), beginning in October, 1957 with a watercolor painting titled The City, and in December, 1957 she showed Dory Fleet, from the Pier another watercolor. She continued to exhibit at this gallery in 1958 -1963, 1965, 1966 and 1969. Her big one-woman show was in July 1962 with 12 paintings.
Joe Hanks married Paul C. Van Cleave in Tucson, Arizona January 29, 1940. Their marriage lasted 56 years until his passing on September 22, 1996.