Joli Ayn Wood was born and raised in the Roanoke Valley of Southwestern Virginia. She graduated from Westhampton College, University of Richmond, in 1991 with a BA degree in Art History and concentrations in Studio Art, Ancient Art, and Archaeology. During her time at Westhampton, she was fortunate to study under New York artist Ephraim Rubenstein, who emphasized the painting methods of the late Charles Hawthorne and the Cape Cod School.
Joli enjoys working both in the studio and out of doors on location. Favorite subjects include the rugged coastline of New England, the mountains and rural landscapes of Southwestern Virginia, as well as the striking Desert Southwest. While painting "en plein air," her aim is to capture the shapes, colors, and light quickly...most times within a couple of hours. Joli finds inspiration in the luminous works of Fitz Henry Lane, the abstract modernity of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings, the moody, light-filled works by Ed Hopper, as well as contemporary plein air painters of California and the West.
After moving to the rolling hills of Floyd, Virginia in 2008, she devoted her time to painting and creating, as well as championing art opportunities for others. She is a founding member of Giles Arts Council, served on the board of The Floyd Center for the Arts in Floyd, Virginia. Her studio was a noted stop on the Floyd Artisan Trail in Southwest Virginia. She founded and chaired the successful Floyd Plein Air Festival in 2017, which has since evolved into the Floyd Plein Air Biennial. From October 2018-May 2019, Joli was Artist-in Residence in the Keeley Healing Arts Program with Carilion Healthcare/New River Valley Medical Center in Christiansburg, Virginia, where she worked with patients, family members, and hospital staff creating art for healing.
In 2019 she relocated her home and art to the North Shore of Boston, Massachusetts, where she looks forward to capturing the beauty around her, en plein air, and to continue her work in the healing arts. Joli enjoys living close to the ocean with her two cats, Gracie and Chumlee.
Joli’s works are included public and private collections around the region and abroad.