Local color: Step inside the artists’ studios in Park Slope and Windsor Terrace

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Looking good: Joy Makon says she likes to focus on the light in her photos of Brooklyn’s hidden gems.
Cherry blossoms: The Japanese Garden of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden stars in this painting.
Leaf it to Joy: Joy Makon painted this portrait of the autumn leaves along Prospect Park West.

She’s really made the scene!

A Windsor Terrace painter who makes watercolor portraits of Brooklyn’s most striking sights will open her home studio to visitors this weekend, as part of the fourth annual Park Slope-Windsor Terrace Artists Open Studios event on Nov. 12–13. Artist Joy Makon, an art director who took up painting just four years ago, says that her home borough is the perfect subject to inspire her brush.

“Brooklyn is my home, I feel kind of strong about that,” said Makon. “Every place has its own light, its own landscape, its own scenery.”

Makon starts her process by walking around the borough, snapping photos of scenes that seem especially striking. Then she goes through the images, choosing the best moments to render in watercolor. Her proximity to Prospect Park’s lush landscape and cast of interesting passersby gives her many options for watercolor-worthy moments, she said.

“I really look for the light, and lately the sunsets have been so amazing in Brooklyn,” she said. “I try and go out in Prospect Park maybe a half hour before the sun is setting, you just capture some wonderful things.”

Makon also travels outside her ‘hood in search of subjects. She especially enjoys visiting Coney Island, though she has not yet captured the amusement park’s most famous icons, the Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone. She prefers the tranquil beaches of the People’s Playground to its amusement park, she said, and tries to avoid places that are swarming with tourists.

“I do go to Dumbo a lot, but it gets really crowded there,” she said. “I kind of seek more quiet, serene places wherever I go.”

Makon will join 34 other neighborhood artists who will display their work during the Open Studios event. The group includes painters, illustrators, collage artists, sculptors, ceramicists, and more. The number participating in Open Studios has grown each year, said Makon, but the tour’s center has tilted away from Park Slope and into Windsor Terrace as real estate prices skyrocket in the tony neighborhood.

“There’s a lot more artists in Windsor Terrace now, less in Park Slope — I think it reflects the real estate values,” she said.

Makon is excited to show of all her paintings at once, something she said she rarely gets to do.

“For me it’s really a way to get everything out in one place,” she said. “As an artist I don’t always get to look at everything in one place — you put out a piece and put it away.”

Park Slope-Windsor Terrace Open Studios at Joy Makon’s studio (41 Fuller Pl. at Prospect Avenue in Windsor Terrace, Nov. 12–13, noon–5 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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