Jovanelli's work is rooted in realism yet has a distinctive abstract quality that breaks her subject matter down into smaller units of planes and shards of colors. Her compositions highlight unique perspective and depth as she responds to intricacies in city architecture, the vibrancy of nature, and the expressiveness of human and animal figures. Living in California has enabled her to experiment with a variety of subject matter and media. Her master’s thesis project at Mills College was a William Blake-inspired, illuminated manuscript with a theme centered around extinct species, classical architecture, and Italian verse. In 2015, she completed seven large-scale murals in San Francisco featuring landmarks in major world cities. As of late, she has been working primarily in watercolor depicting life and imagination in Oakland, California.
The artist formally studied watercolor painting as an undergraduate under James Linehan at the University of Maine, developing a series of post card travel paintings based on places she had visited in Europe and doing paintings of people running. Having been a competitive middle-distance runner, she found watercolor in particular offered still, contemplative activity to balance the physical exertion of training. Jovanelli also was exposed to the practice of drawing, painting and thinking creatively while growing up in an artistic environment- her mother is a skilled painter and father an accomplished musician.
Watercolor reveals a translucent, ephemeral character. Its unpredictability creates a sense of risk and allows for giant creative potential. When a viewer looks at an artwork, the painting looks back at them, and this combination creates what the Italian Renaissance writer Leon Battista Alberti called “istoria”.