As a painter, my goal is to use color, composition, line, and/or implicit allusion to get the casual viewer to stop and think.  Each of my series works toward that goal through a different set of visual elements.

The Color Abstraction paintings express drama through the juxtaposition of bold swaths of saturated, complementary colors, and through the varying saturation of the colors.  The juxtaposition creates vibrancy, while the value variation creates a sense of depth.  Rationality and order prevail.

The Appreciation paintings express movement through wavy, superimposed streaks of translucent color.  The palette for most of these paintings is muted:  pastel tints and limited color ranges imply serenity.  A few have a bolder palette to imply more forceful movement.  Each painting manifests freedom and serendipity.

The Stratification paintings impose a strict rectilinear frame on the freeform superimposition of translucent color – thereby combining (mocking?) both rationality and serendipity.  These were inspired by a cold wax and acrylic work on panel by Lesley Clarke that I saw in The Torpedo Factory studio complex in Alexandria, Virginia.

“The Impossibility of Knowing” refers to the strength of memory and imagination, compared to what is “real” or “observed.”  In these paintings, a solid shape or silhouette interacts with its mirrored outline:  something that seems substantive is augmented with its mirror, shadow, or luminescence.  The interplay creates dynamism, as each shape is pulled in its opposite direction.

In figurative paintings, I bring playful (or at times wry) animation to landscapes, waterscapes, and inanimate objects.  My goal is to develop a reproducible visual syntax to accentuate the rhythms of land and water.

The Faces of Evil portray men who personify Evil, identified textually by only an initial.  How can a clearly human face manifest evil? 

Each of these works uses acrylic paint (and other acrylic media) on canvas.  The acrylic medium is key to creating solid blocks of deep color in the Color Appreciation paintings, and eases the wet-on-dry layering in the Appreciation paintings.  For figurative paintings, I often use mediums that extend drying time to allow wet-on-wet blending.

A common question from a viewer to an abstract artist is “Is that a …?”  Invariably, the artist smiles silently, offering nothing.  As a painter, I understand several reasons for the silence:

1) What the piece looks and feels like to each viewer is much more important than anything I was thinking or wanted to evoke.

2) I’ve heard fascinating interpretations from viewers, following my silence, some of which change the way I view the piece I painted.

3) Some of the origins of a piece are purely formal, such as a goal of juxtaposing particular colors, of combining surface treatments and textures, of implying three dimensionality.

jwharringtonjr@gmail.com

JWHarrington.com