Trillium Woods Resident Artist Series – Joan Dayton

From drawing classes at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts in Wayzata to watercolor classes at Trillium Woods, Joan Dayton loves to explore new artistry and techniques while being inspired by those around her. After putting her painting and drawing on the back burner for many years, she is thrilled to live in a place that encourages and inspires her work.

Art has always been an important part of Joan’s life, and she majored in it in college. She loves drawing with graphite and colored pencils, and her main focus is botanicals, depicting subjects like plants and fruits – one of her latest pieces included intricate monarch butterflies. She also enjoys using watercolors to paint landscapes. Joan makes her art come to life through textural interest and shadow techniques to create beautiful works that feel like they’re coming off the page. She’s been diligently working on her current colored pencil landscape project for six months.


Oftentimes, her botanicals are a part of a larger landscape, drawing inspiration from the world around her. Joan grew up on the East Coast and still spends summers in Maine, and says the scenery is similar to northern Minnesota.

“Maine is a wonderful state, it’s not unlike Minnesota,” said Joan. “I’m really lucky to be able to spend time in Maine during the summer because the beauty is really quite stunning.”

Joan’s artwork has served as an escape during the pandemic. “I put on my book on tape and pick up my pencils,” said Joan. She typically spends a couple of hours working on her pieces each week. However, she is looking forward to taking classes again to be inspired by the instruction and the other artists in the room. It always encourages her to do more when she’s back at home too.


Joan is especially grateful for the community of artists at Trillium Woods. There is a group of women with varying skill levels who take the watercolor classes and gather in the studio to work on their pieces together.

“It’s just constantly inspiring,” said Joan, “you don’t get in too much of a rut which I think is great. I’m very happy to be part of it.”

Joan’s work has been displayed at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, the Burnsville Art Center and right here at Trillium Woods.

Check out the rest of the Trillium Woods Artist Series on the Trillium Woods blog, where we’ve featured several other talented resident artists.