In the out of doors, I find renewal of my artistic soul. Early morning mists over a coastal river or mountain pass, hoarse croaking of a raven, crush of beach shell and sand under foot, wind whispering in tall pines, plaintive whistling of a loon on the lake, smell of rain or a freshly cut hay field; all recharge my emotional batteries.
Sharing this sense of renewal, whether in drawings, paintings or the written word, has been at the core of my being since my first experiences while following my parents through the woods and waters of the Southeast. That sense has only grown stronger through years in wildlife and natural area conservation work.
You have to know a thing intimately in order to paint it well. My experiences and images come forward onto the canvas when I paint. Sometimes painting goes quickly and smoothly, but more often there are stages within the process that challenge skills and confidence. Push through these and hopefully you end up with a work that looks effortless and conveys a sense of place and a feeling of your experience while there.
True reward comes when others pause in front of your painting, ask questions about it or your process and, better yet, decide to make your creation their own. It’s then that you know you’ve taken the viewer along through your painterly impressions to a shared love of the land and what makes it special.
While I’ve experience using various mediums, I love the smell and texture of oil paints. Oils possess the ability to go on thinly like watercolor, or build up texture. They can be blended softly or brushed boldly onto the canvas and left untouched. The richness of their staying power lasts for hundreds of years as shown in the works of the old masters.
John considers himself a contemporary realist. His formal art training began at the University of South Carolina’s Sloan College of Art, followed by decades of working alongside talented wildlife artists, studying the work of past masters, and annual workshops and mentoring from some of today’s top nationally known landscape artists. An award-winning artist in his own right, John’s works are in private collections across the country and have been featured in magazines, movies and videos.