When did you start painting?
John: “I’ve painted since 1988 here and there, but started painting exclusively about 15 years ago. I mostly paint alla prima in oil using painting knives.”
What do you like to paint?
John: “I love painting plein air landscapes, especially those in lower Michigan and around metro Detroit.”
Where did you study art?
John: “I have a Bachelor of Art from Wayne State University in Detroit, with a concentration in Drawing and Printmaking. I’ve also taken a few painting workshops.”
Is art a career or a hobby for you?
John:” I’m a graphic designer for a marketing agency by day, and a painter in the evenings and weekends. I teach Acrylic Painting for the Farmington Hills Special Services Department. My classes are filled with people that range from those who already paint well to those who’ve never drawn or painted in their life. It’s a thrilling challenge because I let each student paint whatever subject he or she wants, rather than dictate something that everyone has to do, whether they want to or not.”
Where have you exhibited your artwork?
John: ” I”ve had my art shown in various metro Detroit galleries and shows including the Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival, Michigan by the Bottle, The Scarab Club, The Detroit Artists Market, and the Arts for the Spirit Program at The Oakwood Physical Therapy and Wellness Center. I have a one-person show planned for late summer at the Ukrainian American Archives & Museum of Detroit.”
Have you won any art awards?
John: “Yes, I had a woodcut win the David Groff Award at the Alma College Statewide Print Competition in Alma, Michigan. Later it was displayed at the Detroit Institute of Art.
I also won first prize for Emerging Artist at the Paint Dexter Plein Air Festival in Dexter, Michigan in 2018.”
What is your style of painting?
John: ” Impressionistic landscapes painted with knives using thick paint.”
Which materials do you prefer?
John: “Oil, mostly Utrecht and Gamblin brands. Sometimes I add cold wax medium to my paint when I work in the studio.
Which artists inspire you?
John: “Many, including Monet, van Gogh, Colton Waugh, Mikhailo Dmytrenko, The Group of Seven, Kim Rhoney, Cynthia Rosen, and the entire gang of the Michigan Plein Air Painters.”
When painting on location, it’s very important that I have a connection with what I’m looking at. That’s why I love painting in Michigan so much. I’ve lived here my whole life and I enjoy painting a scene and expressing why I love living in this state so much. Plein air painting with a group is great because I get a lot of encouragement and terrific feedback, but I also enjoy painting alone where I can listen to the sounds of nature and not much else. These sounds inspire my plein air painting as much as music inspires me when I paint in my basement studio.”
Portrait Photography by: Jovan Jacobs – Grand Ambition Photography.