Interview with Immortality & Vulnerability Artist John Walker

John Walker has been working as a professional artist for over thirty years. After graduating from The American Academy of Art he began a career in illustration, creating a wide array of artwork for clients nationwide, including McDonalds, Random House and National Geographic. Acrylics became his media of choice during this time and he has become fluent in their application. His focus has now shifted to painting and exhibiting personal works which have been awarded honors in numerous exhibitions. He was named a finalist in Artist Magazine's annual competition in 2012 for his painting “Rose.” In 2013, “The Fisherman's Wife,” was named Best of Show in the Richeson 75 International Portrait and Figure competition. His painting, “Ginni Moon Prepares for Takeoff,” was recognized with the National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic Award, at the NSPC&A’s 59th annual exhibition in NY in 2013, and he was a juried participant in 2014 with the painting, “So Alice Went Through the Looking-Glass Again.” “VooDoo Steps Out,” was selected for inclusion in North Light Books compendium, AcrylicWorks: The Best of Acrylic Painting, and “Winter Contemplation,” was juried into the second edition, AcrylicWorks 2: Radical Breakthroughs.

John Walker has been working as a professional artist for over thirty years. After graduating from The American Academy of Art he began a career in illustration, creating a wide array of artwork for clients nationwide, including McDonalds, Random House and National Geographic. Acrylics became his media of choice during this time and he has become fluent in their application. His focus has now shifted to painting and exhibiting personal works which have been awarded honors in numerous exhibitions. He was named a finalist in Artist Magazine's annual competition in 2012 for his painting “Rose.” In 2013, “The Fisherman's Wife,” was named Best of Show in the Richeson 75 International Portrait and Figure competition. His painting, “Ginni Moon Prepares for Takeoff,” was recognized with the National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic Award, at the NSPC&A’s 59th annual exhibition in NY in 2013, and he was a juried participant in 2014 with the painting, “So Alice Went Through the Looking-Glass Again.” “VooDoo Steps Out,” was selected for inclusion in North Light Books compendium, AcrylicWorks: The Best of Acrylic Painting, and “Winter Contemplation,” was juried into the second edition, AcrylicWorks 2: Radical Breakthroughs.

Tell our readers what’s on your easel today.

Ha! What timing. I just Tweeted that I've been tied up with the business side of things and haven't been painting/drawing since Saturday. Driving me crazy. But next up is a painting featuring my four legged studio mate, Guinness.

Do you paint many portraits of pets? Share your friend Guinness with us.

Here's his official glamour shot.  No, I haven't done many pet portraits, another reason I'm looking forward to painting this piece. I'm only in the concept stage though working on a couple of very different ideas. We'll see where they take me.

Do you have a favorite subject or a theme you visit often in your work?

I love to paint figurative work, especially portrait oriented pieces. I could spend a lot of time painting faces. However I don't consider myself a portraitist as such, because many times my subjects are acting as characters in some type of narrative idea I'm painting. so the goal is not always portraiture per se. The same may wind up being true of the dog painting I'm planning. 

Tell us about the narrative piece you’ve submitted for the IV show in April.

I would describe this as a quiet painting, more whisper than shout. The color pallet is subdued, there are a lot of deeper values. But the subject, even though in the midst of what may be a gloomy setting, has just the slightest smile. There are various "dark" elements for viewers to consider, like the black horizontal void between buildings, and the rough graffiti covered wall. Despite all that I think there is a certain gentleness too. My aim was to leave viewers with a positive vibe. It's a very personal painting and as I worked I began to know more about the girl, who she is, what's running through her mind. That's the best part of painting for me, when I begin to mentally inhabit a piece, experience the painting's story. It's said that a whisper can be a very effective way to communicate. I hope that's true in the case of this painting.

For more information on the Immortality & Vulnerability publication and gallery event, stop by this link.

Didi MenendezComment
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