John Gary Brown


The landscape, certainly the most eternal and elemental of all artistic subjects, allows me to create worlds that reflect my view of reality — that the universe evolves in an unhurried but inexorable process that deserves respect and emulation. The implications of this point of view can be superimposed onto ecological considerations, or spiritual advancement, but I prefer to simply depict the landscape, in its placid and dynamic states, and celebrate each manifestation as a natural and inevitable reflection of a broader and mystical reality that must be taken on faith.

I endeavor to create both objective and subjective interpretations of specific places or experiences, exploring unusual light and extraordinary color or configurations that occur in the area's infinite variety of outward manifestations. Natural forces, such as wind and water may be implied, and storms or celestial objects may also be represented, but overseeing each specific event or circumstance that is implied in any given painting, is the turning of the earth and the long march towards entropy and rebirth.

These paintings are generally executed in layers. A layer of free-flowing, multi-colored “underpainting” is applied by brush, allowed to form organic shapes, before the canvas is placed on the floor, face up, so that image will stabilize and dry. After the underpainting is dry enough to work over, a la prima bands of oil paint are laid over it, mostly with a print brayer and some areas of the underpainting are rubbed out and revealed with a paint rag or palette knife. Drawing is worked into the image with a brush or the edge of the print brayer and this process is repeated in several layers until the painting is finished.

I believe that mankind’s marks upon the earth are superficial and fleeting, and I try to depict and celebrate what is truly elemental in the landscape — the breathing of life into great watery vistas, seen through shifting, atmospheric veils, or the falling of sun light onto undisturbed dust.