Color and joy form basis for Milford artist's work

Ronet Noe, (pronounced Ruh Neet, No E) says there is enough sadness and darkness in the world. Her art doesn’t reflect any of that — instead it reflects colors and light and the essence of joy.

A display of her work, showing through Jan. 25 at the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, is titled “Paintings of JOY,” and the letters J-O-Y hanging on a wall in the foyer of her Milford home greet visitors as they enter.

“With all that is going on in the world, why not bring joy,” she said.

Noe has been an art teacher at Stamford’s Newfield Elementary School for almost three decades, inspiring thousands of children to create art, and being inspired by them to never lose the childlike joy of creating art, according to the Discovery Museum website.

Art runs through the family veins: An uncle was an interior designer, another relative an architect and another a layout artist: Her two grown daughters, Alexandra (Allie) and Jessica, pursued art, one the culinary arts.

Noe studied at Eastern and Southern Connecticut State University, where she received a master’s degree in art education. She teaches children in kindergarten through grade five, and she loves to watch them boldly express themselves through their untamed art. Her number one rule in the classroom is “you are the boss of your own artwork.”

“If you want the sky to be green, it’s green,” she tells them.

While teaching and raising her daughters, with husband Dave, she has created and displayed her art, the canvases growing and changing over the years but always offering the color and joy that she wants to convey. She shows regularly at the Centerframing and Art art gallery in West Hartford, and she has had work hanging in SoNo, Wild Expressions in Milford, the ESPN executive offices, at a ranch in Texas and two pieces hang at a restaurant in Manhattan. She sells at various art shows, including the Meet the Artists and Artisans shows run by Milford resident Denise Morris Curt.

"Ronet 's inner light and joyful visions cause her viewers to smile, raising their spirits so high that they are unaware they're still smiling after they have left her,” said Curt. “She captures wondrous sights so instilled in our memories, such as a transparent curtain gently blowing in the breeze of a sun filled day, with the music of children's laughter in the distance —  that we can bring up that moment of delight in the cold days of  winter.”

The Discovery Museum website describes her work like this: “Bright colors, large format, and a carefree aura are key elements of her work. Even the three-dimensionality of her work breaks the plane and traditional restraint of painting. But that should not imply that her art does not have impact or meaning. A flying taxi scattering color down upon the Manhattan skyline challenges us to look at our lives and ask whether we are bringing brightness to our world. A bold declaration of PEACE calls us out to create a better world.”

Noe said she works in unique ways, part painting and part sculpture. She remembers the first time she toyed with adding sculpted forms to her canvas. She was painting outside at one of Denise Morris Curt’s shows and she started playing with a clump of paint that had dried.

“I rolled it into a ball and then looked at one of my paintings that had a bowl of cherries. I plopped the ball of paint where the cherries were.”

From there she experimented with different materials and started adding sculpted forms to her paintings. One of the pieces in her Milford home, for example, features sculpted paper mache flowers popping from a floral scene.

“All my past paintings have led me to this time of discovery,” she said. “I wanted these works to reflect the place I’ve accepted, a place where bold colors and fun are embraced.”