windsor joe innis

(Windsor's) parents are Turner and Constable, Cezanne and Monet, Renoir and Whistler, and perhaps (his) grandparents, through some time-related whim, may be called Boudin and Jongkind"

International Art Critic Dr. Osiris Chierico, Museo Eduardo Sivori
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Artist and Author: WINDSOR JOE INNIS(1937 ~ )

Windsor Innis (known as Windsor) is a neo-impressionist painter listed in Who's Who in America and Gale's Contemporary Authors. His paintings are collected worldwide.

Windsor has lived and worked in many countries throughout the world as a teacher, writer, painter, and sculptor, exhibiting in solo exhibitions in a variety of capitals, including Tokyo, Seoul (an '88 Olympic Exhibition), Istanbul, Buenos Aires, London, and New York. He has shown in a number of other cities in the US, and in Canada and Mexico. Full-color catalogues have been published for most of these exhibits. Christie’s contemporary Art of London was instrumental in organizing his first international exhibit in Tokyo in 1984. The director of Contemporary Art wrote the introduction to the exhibition catalog. Published by Kodansa of Japan, the publication featured the first appearance of Innis's The Better Times, a novella.

Princess Masako of Japan’s Royal Family supported Innis's Tokyo exhibit. In an introduction to his catalog she said, in part, " . . In our several conversations in Tokyo and Seoul, Mr. Innis revealed his belief that art is an international event rising above national considerations and boundaries. His paintings, his book underscore that conviction."

Windsor's successful exhibitions in Istanbul were organized with the help from President Rauf Denktas of Northern Cyprus and his cultural advisors. The exhibition, Impressions, Turkey, was held in Topkapi Palace. It was sponsored by Mobil Oil Corporation and several Turkish owned multi-national companies. Innis has spent two years in Turkey and Cyprus.

Windsor holds an M.F.A from Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, the setting for his recent novel. He earned his B.A. in Journalism from San Diego State University and, after some years in France, returned to the West Coast as a political writer and editor for several publications in California. His sculpture of then-President Richard Nixon was included in the The White House.

His first novel, In Pursuit of the Awa Maru, was published by Bantam Books in '81. This was followed by How to Become a Famous Artist and Still Paint Pictures, '94, a non-fiction account of his climb up the art ladder. His newest novel, Also Rising, was released in January '98 to strong national praise by Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Dallas Morning News, and ALA Booklist, which described it this way: "Full of humor and insight Innis's story brings together some of the best aspects of contemporary American fiction in its exploration of what it means to find art in life, and life in art."

Also Rising and How to Become a Famous Artist and Still Paint Pictures have recently been republished by The Author's Guild of America. These books can be found on-line and in brick-and-mortar bookstores throughout America.

For three years he authored a monthly advice column, "Speaking of Art," for The Artist's Magazine. His paintings have appeared as cover art here and are included in a number of books and publications in the U.S. Japan, Korea and Turkey.

Life Model, his feature-length screenplay, was optioned by a Miramax producer. Another screenplay, A Kind of Eden, was a semi-finalist for two consecutive years in the prestigious Chesterfield competition.

International Art Critic
Dr. Osiris Chierico, Museo Eduardo Sivori
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Windsor, born in Chicago, is a steadfast, passionate pursuer of light, of its effects on color, of its transforming action upon reality. He is - one can easily deuce it - a loving survivor of the impressionistic version, that revealing discovery of painting, historically considered a child of the 19th. Century, but which, as regards its deepest essence and the endlessness of its possibilities, traces its origins so much further back and projects itself so much father into the future.

Of course, it becomes almost a heroic endeavor to maintain such a stand, given the current situation of the artistic world, of its fabulous, multidirectional openness, of the unending preoccupation of the contemporary artist, which translates itself into exploration and into a laboratory on the one hand and into a compromise with the reality he must live, on the other. Joe Innis no doubt realizes it; not only has he traveled extensively, but he has made that journey in the guise of the artist which he is, an attentive keen and lucid observer. With these tools he has managed to overcome his isolation, made up of an unfathomable wonder at the view and at the form before him, at the light which ever conditions their being. A chosen isolation where a difficult humility and an exultant attitude come together, celebrating in unison an endeavor which very well might vindicate that statement of Claude Monet's: "I paint, like the bird sings". Hence, his having set aside all theoretical formulations, all intellectual concern, only to follow the voice of his own vision, guided from within, by nature.

For the sake of this present state of his painting has Windsor traveled and seen so much, having first discovered his "way to Damascus" in the impressionistic masters which for five years he studied in France, including their English forebears. Thus can he now say: "My parents are Turner and Constable, Cezanne and Monet, Renoir and Whistler, and -perhaps - my grandparents, through some time-related whim, may be called Boudin and Jongkind". A parentage which can be traced back in his paintings, especially his landscapes-one in particular-"The River", which somehow highlights the reflections of Monet in "The Nymphs".

But having learned and assimilated the lesson of the ever changing starring role of light, of deliverance from surrounding reference points through an ambiguous corporal density, Windsor sets forth in search of his own expression pure and simple. He leaves Paris and looks to the East: Japan and Korea. There he comes upon his second revelation, which he incorporates into his painting, supporting the whole on the entirety of his previous process. Perhaps he has already found in that different "time" where beings and things come to pass, the intimate justification fro his isolation, that unique aloofness spoken of at the beginning; because beyond his reaching for that reality which seduces him, he culls from it a sort of individual freedom which allows him to choose his own code of expression, independent of the turmoil which rises all around him and with which he refuses having anything to do. There in lies the essence of his adventure and of his victory throughout it. He surely may draw close to other realities which may give him hints of his proximity to them - such as the the beautiful bridge painted in Japan, or the enchanted skies of a European shore, which empathically vibrate to the echoes of some distant Sisley - yet his attitude will not change, within his art the very spirit of his vision will survive.

Gale's Contemporary Authors brings researchers the most recent data on the world's most-popular authors. GCA is the leading provider in meeting the world's information and education needs. Among the listings: Ernest Hemingway, Saul Bellows, Michael Crichton, Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates.

W. Joe Innis

Birth: 1937 in Chicago, Illinois
Nationality: American
Occupation: Writer
Source: Contemporary Authors Online, Thomson Gale, 2005.

Personal Information
Further Readings
Source Citation

Born 1937, in Chicago, IL. Education: San Diego State University, B. A., Insituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, M.F.A. Addresses: Home: . E-mail:;

Artist and sculptor. Exhibitions: Has had solo exhibitions of his work in numerous countries, including the United States; Canada; Tokyo, Japan; England; Portugal; Argentina; and Turkey; and at 1988 Olympics in Seoul.

W. Joe Innis is a neo-Impressionist painter whose works have gained him an international reputation for excellence. In addition to his work on canvas, Innis is also a sculptor and writer. He studied journalism at San Diego State University and later worked as political writer and editor in California; he has also lived and worked in France, Turkey, Mexico, South America, and many other locations. He told the story of his own rise to success in the art world in his book How to Become a Famous Artist and Still Paint Pictures, published in 1994. It is both humorous and practical, offering advice on the best types of materials to use, how to structure life so that painting can flourish, and how to get funding and sell paintings without losing artistic integrity.

Innis pays homage to Ernest Hemingway, author of the classic novel The Sun Also Rises, with his own Also Rising. Like Hemingway, Innis focuses on an expatriate's encounter with the world of bullfighting. Also Rising is set during the Vietnam era, and features a disillusioned artist named Isaac Sherderval, who escapes his life in the United States and takes a job teaching art in Mexico. There he meets Heinrich Guerber, an influential painter. Attracted to Guerber's fiancée and nettled by the more successful artist's arrogance, Sherderval is drawn into a plot that pits him not only against Guerber, but against a fighting bull. According to a reviewer for Mundo Taurino, Also Rising is "a high-stakes comic opera," in which "Isaac finds an Old World culture unwilling to admit that machismo, romance and art that you can look at are dead." Booklist reviewer Eric Robbins stated that Innis's book combines "some of the best aspects of contemporary American fiction in its exploration of what it means to find art in life, and life in art." Innis's writing power was also praised by a Publishers Weekly commentator, who noted: "His balanced yet stirring description of the bullfight becomes the subtext for his sensitive depiction of the life of a dedicated artist."

In Pursuit of the Awa Maru (novel), Bantam Books (New York, NY), 1981.
How to Become a Famous Artist and Still Paint Pictures, Eakin Press (Austin, TX), 1994.
Also Rising (novel), Eakin Press (Austin, TX), 1998.
Also author of The Better Times, a novella, and of screenplays Modeling Lessons, A Kind of Eden, Ghost Painter, and Convergence. Formerly writer and editor for political publications in California. Contributor of advice column, "Speaking of Art," for Artist's magazine.


Innis, W. Joe, How to Become a Famous Artist and Still Paint Pictures, Eakin Press (Austin, TX), 1994.

Booklist, February 1, 2998, Eric Robbins, review of Also Rising, p. 899.
Publishers Weekly, October 6, 1997, review of Also Rising, p. 72.

Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2005. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2005. Document Number: H1000158647

International Art Critic
Donald Kuspit
art critic, professor of art history and philosophy at the SUNY

"... Windsor Joe Innis's works raise a number of questions--questions that go to the heart of the au courant postmodern idea that "anything goes" in art. Does sentimentality go--sentimental subject matter, such as Innis's little "mystical girl," and, perhaps more crucially, the seemingly sentimental, not to say nostalgic use of once cutting edge, unconventional avant-garde painting? Innis thinks of himself as a Neo-Impressionist. I would say he's more of an Impressionist, as his emphasis on atmospheric light suggests, and even more than that an Intimatist, as his intimate scenes, often staged in warm interiors and rendered in dense, full-blooded colors--a kind of hortus conclusus or sanctuary far from the maddening crowd (even his outdoor scenes have a cut-off, self-enclosed look, conveying the sense of an inner space hermetically apart and impenetrable by the world beyond it)--suggest. But the overriding question is not whether Innis is an Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, or Intimatist--all of which are art historically related (each is an offshoot of the other)--but whether his restoration of early modernist painting is regressive and reactionary: all too backward looking, because art has relentlessly "advanced," as the vigorous emergence of video and especially digital art confirms. Art is in the throes of a new technological revolution, so why rely on the old technology of painting? Especially at a time when painting is supposed to be dead, or, as one critic has said, mourning for itself ..."

From Conversations with Windsor (KyuryudoArt, Tokyo) 【 求龍堂 】

"Windsor is a contemporary painter who speaks to time in which he lives by recalling the history so absent in much of postmodern art.

He brought his own ghosts when he came to stay in Kyoto to research Japonisme. Windsor is a student of such masters East and West. They are not ghosts to him. They speak. They argue. They guide. Often they come alive in his painting. We asked him why he came to spend so much of his time in Japan. “It’s the people,” he said. “It’s always the people."

Windsor’s art returns the spectator to a process that has endured for 35,000-years. It holds that the painting on a wall is only half of the art equation. It must first attract someone to look at it. Given the spectator’s willingness to see it, it can it speak to him, provided he uses a language he can understand. There’s much else, of course, but those are the prerequisites. Without two-way communications there can be no art. With it the possibility is earned.

Innocence and vulnerability have been recurring themes in Windsor’s paintings throughout a career that spans almost five decades. It’s a subtle study, as it should be. These two virtues are evanescent. His paintings neither shout nor shock. They whisper just out of hearing. They stand quietly, their colors subdued, the messages are understated, muted. This is in sharp contrast to the blatant conceit and shamelessness so prevalent in the art world they occupy.

His art and the subjects that occupy it are decidedly contemporary. It derives, in part, from his parallel career in literary fiction. Like the dialogue of his long favorite authors, Hemingway and Fitzgerald, much of it rests on what the characters do not say. The novels are all the more powerful for the reticence.

He finds the beauty of innocence in many things, – the demeanor of the half-wild race horse, the green shoots that spring from a marsh or meadow, the shape and feel of a porcelain vase, the point where sea and rock intersect, the faintly illuminated bud of a flower, a wind-blown shrub bent like an old woman in her rice field."