It seems that I have fallen off the face of the earth. Well sometimes I do. I get really wrapped up in my work. For the people who know me know I spend a lot of time traveling. I really like seeing the world and venturing into beautiful places that have no trail to them… Probably from my early childhood when all I wanted to do was dig in the earth and find dinosaur bones and heal animals and do rain dances and shamanistic healing with smoke treatment and thoughts that would later become things; all before I was 10 years old. Life was simple then.. Life is all we have and so many of us give our lives to things that mean nothing… I give my life to the Art I create and to the Music that flows through me… … I believe in the Art I create, it is mine, all hand made because I do not need a computer to do my job for me.. I do not discredit digital art. I learned and figured out every tool and put the time in and rely on myself to create everything without a computer or even electricity. I know how to make the paint I use and how to make the paper and wood I use and even how to make paintbrushes. The secrets to the longevity of my pieces are trade secrets and I only pass them along to my apprentices.
A recap over the last year.
I traveled up and down the east coast spending time with my girlfriend Lesley and our two daughters Izora and Yay-yay and our dog Bruno. In late 2011 I switched from painting with Watercolor on paper to painting with Watercolor on raw birch veneer. It isn’t without a great series of lessons on how to paint with Watercolor on wood.. What happens when you get wood wet? It buckles, it separates, it grows, it stretches, it distorts, it crowns, is splinters, it gets brittle and on and on… I was determined that I was going to be able to paint on wood using ONLY WATERCOLOR, and have them turn out amazing.. During this learning process there was a spike in my personal style.
OIL VERSUS WATERCOLOR and why Watercolor is better
Switching 13 years ago from Oils on canvas and board to Strictly watercolor, I learned a few things.. One very important thing is this, Oil is Deceptively easy. The only reason Oils are so sought after is their longevity. It has little to do with the subject matter or technique as most of the time critics and collectors are NOT artists and only study art and art history and not the mediums themselves.. If that were the case they would fully know that as far as i’m concerned as a seasoned veteran to painting in many mediums that watercolor is absolutely a million times more difficult as any other painting medium.
Watercolor is a very exact medium. A very unforgiving medium. A very fragile medium. But mostly the most gratifying medium..
The differences with watercolor are the fact that if you overwork an area guess what, there is no going over it, the paper stretches and gets worn and compromises the integrity of the strength of the paper. Unlike Oils where if a mistake is made it can be gone over and over and over until it is right. With watercolor an exact patience and execution is vital to the integral strength of the paper and the life of the piece over all.
People are always shocked to hear that my work is ONLY Watercolor, Either Watercolor on Paper and most especially the woodwork. Always I am asked how do you get it to look that way. I reply with the “its a secret technique but I figured out a way through about eight thousand dollars worth of ways to NOT use Watercolor on These panels.”
In 2012 I painted over 50 Watercolor on Birch Panels. All 100% acid free and Museum quality. Ranging in sizes from 20 inches square to 3 fee by 4 feet, although 4×8 feet is the largest I can go at this time. Commissions range from $1000.oo to $10,000.oo
More Soon….. Love Johnny