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   The San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild

First Place Award of Excellence

The San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild


September 13, 2022 – September 26, 2022
Online during the month of September 2022:


JUROR:  Julie Weaverling

Congratulations to our

First Place Award of Excellence Winner 

John Oleinik

 John was awarded the first place for his oil on linen:

Man in Ticking Fabric Shirt

About John Oleinik:

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 become increasingly blurred in the digital age. Stylistically best described as Abstract- Surrealism or Arstract-Realism.


  • Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University 1979
  • Licensed Architect- State of California 1983 
  • Private Architectural Practice since 1983, many architectural awards and publications.

Since 2014, I have been juried into numerous Artists Guild and San Diego County Fair exhibitions. I have been awarded several Best of Show, First Place, Second Place and Honorary Mentions by San Diego County Fair jurors.  I have also received First Place, Third Place and two Honorary Mention awards by Artists Guild jurors.  In 2016, I was presented a Best of Show, Judges’ Choice Award at the Newport Beach 52nd Annual Art Festival.

About The Man in the Ticking Fabric Shirt:

The painting entitled The Man in the Ticking Fabric Shirt is part of my Psychological Series. This series is an exploration into many of the most pervasive universal human emotional states that we face in the 21st century. This painting tries to capture the emotions of new love and infatuation in the digital age.

At first one sees an abstract composition of lights and dark with many shades of warm tones. Soon after that the observer will start to see representational fragments emerge from this chiaroscuro imagery.  An eye, a mouth, a nose and another face and arms will appear. Eventually one sees a man’s torso wearing a striped shirt superimposed over a woman’s face.  There is a look of adoration on the man’s face as his form embraces the larger face of the woman. The superimposition is in digital fragments creating interference of one image over one-another.

Elements of time have been introduced into the painting. There is the double meaning from the title Ticking Fabric as well as the gold watch the man is wearing shows the time 10:10 which has the universal meaning of wellbeing and love. You will notice that wrist watches are usually set to this time in advertising.

I am also experimenting with optical illusion. If one stands about 2-3 feet from the canvas and stares at the lips or the eye of the woman you may start to see the man’s arms start to move counter-clockwise as if to be embracing. In addition, I use a technique that makes the image look distorted like looking through textured glass that also adds movement to the work. All movements have two factors: Time and Distance.


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 palate 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. 

See more about John on his website: https://oleinikarchitect.com

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Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 122107
San Diego, CA 92112-2107

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