First Place Award of Excellence
The San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild
2023 Fall Membership Exhibition
November 14 – November 27, 2023
Live at Gallery 21, Spanish Village, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA
Online during the month of November 2023:
Juror: Katie Dolgov, Director of Exhibitions and Collections
Oceanside Museum of Art
Congratulations to our
First Place Award of Excellence Winner
John was awarded the first place for his Oil on Linen
WHITE hat, BLUE jeans.
I have been an architect with a private practice since 1983 specializing in the design of custom single-family homes. Starting in 2014, I have been making the professional transition into Fine Art. I am able to bring some of the unique skills acquired as an architect, into my oil paintings. My most recent work is an investigation into the human-condition. I have been exploring the aspects of man that distinguish humanity from machine as the line becomes increasingly blurred in the digital age. Stylistically best described as Abstract- Surrealism or Abstract-Realism.
I paint with oil on linen. I used Fredrix acrylic primed linen that I stretch myself on 1 ¼” stretcher bars from Stretcher Bar Warehouse (you can buy online from central California factory). I use Princeton “Dakota’ 6300B paintbrushes (synthetic bristles. I mostly use Old Holland Paint or Windsor Newton. I use Utrecht alkyd glazing medium. The glazing medium allows me to build up many layers of paint over time. It also acts as an accelerator, so I can paint the next day. This painting is the product of about 20 sessions or layers. Each session is about 4 or 5 hours, not including painting the edges. The time between painting sessions gives me time to look at the work and plan the next move. I will work on a painting until I feel that I have little chance of making an improvement.
Starting with the blank canvas I will transfer the images using various means. Some freehand or carbon paper, plus I will use photographs that I have taken. From that point I will paint in the classic style. Light to dark. Front to back. Thin to thick. Which I learned from my only true painting teacher, Ardith Melzer. On my palette I will usually use two yellows, two reds, two blues and white. I always start a painting with black that I mix from the primaries. The darkest black I have found is using Prussian Blue and Cadmium Red Dark. After several painting sessions with different blacks, I will go straight to white tints to establish the highlights. I learned this from Norm Daniels, who is a plein air artist. He taught me that it is important to establish your lights right away, especially in plein air when the light is changing all the time. I know that I do not have the same time consideration, but it still helps to establish the composition early on. At this point I may start to see figures emerge from the canvas and I will need to draw over the canvas to bring them out. This will add more painting sessions in order to merge the added figures into the existing compositions. Once I have covered the whole canvas with paint, I will start all over and repaint it again several times. Each time sharpening the image and detailing as I go.
About RED-truck, WHITE-hat, BLUE-jeans
This painting was partly inspired by Jasper Johns encaustic painting “American Flag” which was the first work of art that he completed after returning from WW-2. My contemporary version of Red, White & Blue juxtaposes the iconography of the American cowboy through the filter of our technological lens. Is he still our hero and is he even relevant today? This painting asks the question. The observer is left to answer the question.
ART HONORS & AWARDS
1ST PLACE: STILL LIFE - OIL
2ND PLACE: LANDSCAPE – OIL