Jonathan

Paintings

Recommended Posts

I'm very short on time right now, but at some point I'd like to addresss the issues of stylization -- "photorealism" vs "painterly" images -- that Rodney and Victor have brought up. I think that could be a very interesting discussion.

Jon, even still, I’m not given to criticism of your work, but let me ask you: what to do you think of photorealism? Are you striving to achieve that in your work? And I'm curious to ask: where did you study and how long have you been painting? One more question: what are you views of graphite work---as art, not as sketches?

Victor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jonathan - where/how can I buy your paintings? Are there seriagraphs available?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
While I too admire technical savvy work, I don’t care for hyper-photo realism. I don’t like it too much because the artist is drawing attention to technical craftsmanship—deflecting away from the fact that his theme or subject can be rather bland or maudlin. An artsit shouldn't want to hear "Wow, that looks like a photo" above anything else a painting can offer. I like painters who paint in a “painterly” fashion and focus on deeper—even irreverent—and interesting themes. I like paintings that have a lot of….oh, can I say this on an Objectivist forum…EMOTION.

"Resolve" is my fave from J.

Interesting point, Victor, although Jonathan's work, if it's not a tracing of a photograph, is really technically up there with the finest realists in history.

I think the Objective ideal for art is a representation of what man can and should be, not necessarily as he is, if that's in a downtrodden state. Ideal art is not about the struggle of mankind, but about having reached paradise. That is the sense of life that I like to see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Victor:

Jon, even still, I’m not given to criticism of your work, but let me ask you: what to do you think of photorealism? Are you striving to achieve that in your work?

No, I'm not striving for photorealism, and I don't see my work as photorealistic. But others sometimes do. If anything drives me toward a realitic style, it's the desire to capture color subtleties which I've never been able to achieve in looser styles.

Btw, Victor, do you have a standard in mind for classifying what is or is not photorealistic? Recently I was at a video store with a friend, and I commented that I loved the sketchy style of some of Drew Struzan's movie posters. My friend thought that the images were composited photographs. I pointed to what I thought were obvious pencil lines and brush strokes, but my friend couldn't see them. Which of us was right about how Struzan's style should be classified?

As far as what I think of photorealism, if we can agree that works by, say, Holbein, Caravaggio, Vermeer, Ingres, Close and Estes are photorealism, then I'd say that I like a lot of it, and some of it doesn't do much for me. For what it's worth, I love a very wide variety of styles. Realism, scratchy-sketchy stuff, impressionistic impasto, scumbled abstract; you name it, and I probably like it or some variant of it.

Btw, if I'm remembering correctly, Rand once ranted specifically about "painterly" styles, so it's nice to see Objectivists stating a preference for them compared to finer brushwork.

And I'm curious to ask: where did you study and how long have you been painting?

I've been drawing since I was about 3 and painting in oils since about 7 or 8. I think of myself as being mostly self taught, but I was pointed in some good directions by a few caring teachers. I drew a lot on my own time, took all available art classes in high school, and I attended a course on commercial art at a technical college after high school.

One more question: what are you views of graphite work---as art, not as sketches?

I've seen some very impressive pencil work. I see no differnce in principle between pencil, chalk, charcoal, pastel, pen and ink, etching, or any other drawing media. A drawing is a drawing. It's art.

Jordan:

Jonathan - where/how can I buy your paintings? Are there seriagraphs available?

Not at the moment (and, technically, my work has never been reproduced as serigraphs, I've prefered lithography and Iris/Giclees.) I'm finishing up a few pieces that I'd like to release en masse with "Pensive" and "Resolve." I'll let you know when prints are available. "Azaleas" is owned by a private party, and "GT" will not be on the market.

Mark:

Interesting point, Victor, although Jonathan's work, if it's not a tracing of a photograph, is really technically up there with the finest realists in history.

Thank you, but I don't agree with the comparison to the finest realists in history. I'd have a long way to go before I could join those ranks.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your artwork is beautiful, Jonathan! I'm impressed.

My favorite is "Resolve".

Edited by Eudaimonist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jonathan:

~ I'm certainly not an 'art savvy' person, but, I can understand somes concerns about 'photo-realism'. Your 1st posted painting ("Pensive"), well, I had to really look at it to be sure that it WASN'T a 'photo'! And that, in itself, is distracting from whatever the 'theme/point' was about the subject, at 1st seeing...including your 2nd one ("Resolve"). For what it's worth, I think such a 'style' needs a subject apropos to it (don't ask me what!) such that such 'seems' to fit the subject.

~ O-t-other-h, I do remember being impressed with a 'still life' that was so 'photo-realistic', it took my breath away realizing that it was a mere 'painting.' The artist, I don't know (it was in a gallery's window); the subject (and, I'm really not into 'still life') a violin, standard fruit-bowl...and a candle that I could swear would have burned the surrounding paintings.

LLAP

J:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jonathan:

~ I'm certainly not an 'art savvy' person, but, I can understand somes concerns about 'photo-realism'. Your 1st posted painting ("Pensive"), well, I had to really look at it to be sure that it WASN'T a 'photo'!

Much of that is probably due to the images being small scans. Seeing the actual paintings, I don't think you'd mistake them as photos. Well, that is, if you were to mistake them as such, you'd probably do the same with paintings by many artists of the past.

Thanks for your comments, John.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you approach doing a painting, what is your primary emphasis - working out a theme, stressing a pattern, or what? Is the idea one developed before brush is first laid, or an evolvment while in progress?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When you approach doing a painting, what is your primary emphasis - working out a theme, stressing a pattern, or what? Is the idea one developed before brush is first laid, or an evolvment while in progress?

My approach to painting varies. Each painting is somewhat different. Some are quite carefully developed beforehand, where others are very improvisational or experimental and evolve as I go along.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When you approach doing a painting, what is your primary emphasis - working out a theme, stressing a pattern, or what? Is the idea one developed before brush is first laid, or an evolvment while in progress?

My approach to painting varies. Each painting is somewhat different. Some are quite carefully developed beforehand, where others are very improvisational or experimental and evolve as I go along.

J

Which do you prefer - or rather, is the improv a result of not having a developed one in mind to do, and as such is sort of 'filler'? or you turn to improvs even when there is a developed idea in mind [or two or three, etc.]?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not seen these before and I wanted to add my praise for Jonathan's work.

On another note it was funny seeing a post by Victor Pross. He would be an interesting study in criminal psychology.

Edited by Chris Grieb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Which do you prefer - or rather, is the improv a result of not having a developed one in mind to do, and as such is sort of 'filler'? or you turn to improvs even when there is a developed idea in mind [or two or three, etc.]?

I generally prefer to have a pretty well-developed idea worked out, especially if I know it's going to be a complex image with fine details, tight perspective requirements, or a difficult lighting scheme, but even then improvisation can come into play. I find that the longer that I work on a painting, the more likely I am to envision at least one or two significant alterations that I think will greatly enhance the composition.

More than anything, I think it's about getting to know the painting while I'm working on it, stepping into it and feeling its attitude or personality. I suppose it would be like writing a novel and suddenly feeling that the main character wouldn't say the words that I've been putting into his mouth. The content of what I've made him say might be right, but, after having reached a point where he's much more fleshed out and real to me, I might feel that it's just not the way that he would say it. And then it wouldn't be an issue of consciously analyzing the problem and logically planning a solution, but to just sort of feel the character's personality and listen to him.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have not seen these before and I wanted to add my praise for Jonathan's work.

Thanks, Chris. I appreciate it.

:)

J

No more praise for J. Let his ego stand on its own.

--Brant

edit: I love "Resolve." It's seldom that I ever see a female nude I don't find some fault with. Your technical competence is awesome, but the composition even more so. I'd like to see this in marble or a series of paintings as the subject is rotated. Also, incredible use of light and color.

Edited by Brant Gaede

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A few samples of my work:

Pensive.jpg

"Pensive"

Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Art Board

I do like your "Pensive". You have a great eye for detail and composition.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Which do you prefer - or rather, is the improv a result of not having a developed one in mind to do, and as such is sort of 'filler'? or you turn to improvs even when there is a developed idea in mind [or two or three, etc.]?

I generally prefer to have a pretty well-developed idea worked out, especially if I know it's going to be a complex image with fine details, tight perspective requirements, or a difficult lighting scheme, but even then improvisation can come into play. I find that the longer that I work on a painting, the more likely I am to envision at least one or two significant alterations that I think will greatly enhance the composition.

More than anything, I think it's about getting to know the painting while I'm working on it, stepping into it and feeling its attitude or personality. I suppose it would be like writing a novel and suddenly feeling that the main character wouldn't say the words that I've been putting into his mouth. The content of what I've made him say might be right, but, after having reached a point where he's much more fleshed out and real to me, I might feel that it's just not the way that he would say it. And then it wouldn't be an issue of consciously analyzing the problem and logically planning a solution, but to just sort of feel the character's personality and listen to him.

J

Do you 'see' a visual first, and a theme or idea next, or together, or the idea first and look for a visual?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No more praise for J. Let his ego stand on its own.

--Brant

edit: I love "Resolve." It's seldom that I ever see a female nude I don't find some fault with. Your technical competence is awesome, but the composition even more so. I'd like to see this in marble or a series of paintings as the subject is rotated. Also, incredible use of light and color.

Thanks, Brant.

I like your idea of a series of paintings with the subject being rotated. I might borrow it. Probably not with "Resolve," but with another figure that I've been thinking about painting or sculpting. I think it would be really cool to display a series of something like 30 paintings on a wall along with a flat screen monitor showing a continuous-loop video of the paintings in succession.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you 'see' a visual first, and a theme or idea next, or together, or the idea first and look for a visual?

I suppose that I'd have to say that I see everything "together" since I usually don't think in terms of the "visual" as being somehow separate or different from a "theme or idea." But if you're asking if I start by asking myself something like, "How might I show mankind as heroically exercising volition?" or "How should I depict my ideal woman embodying the role that the mind plays in human existence?" then, no, I definitely don't start with a theme or idea.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you 'see' a visual first, and a theme or idea next, or together, or the idea first and look for a visual?

I suppose that I'd have to say that I see everything "together" since I usually don't think in terms of the "visual" as being somehow separate or different from a "theme or idea." But if you're asking if I start by asking myself something like, "How might I show mankind as heroically exercising volition?" or "How should I depict my ideal woman embodying the role that the mind plays in human existence?" then, no, I definitely don't start with a theme or idea.

J

No - was referring to doing something much as I do... most my works begin with a 'theme/title' which encapsulates the essence of the idea, and the visual follows - often immediately, tho sometimes the theme/title sits in the file awhile... or, if there is a visual for stimulation [something seen or observed], a theme/title often pops in mind, and the result ends being the rendering, which is taking that theme/title and composing the visual to its best advantage [the visual, then, as such, becoming props to the idea, however detailed the rendering may become... and yes, often there are variations which pop up and thus a series evolves...

Most artists, it seems, deal primarily with visual, composing the rendering from a technical standpoint, and leaving it much as that - the theme only vaguely in mind if in any conscious sense at all, thus the titles usually banal or numbered... some have conscious themes to begin with, but only happenstance it seems, and their titling reflects often a vagueness rather than clarity... yours seem to be as clear as the renderings, yet reflect a divergence from the expected consequence, so wondered how you arrive at the works and the theme/titling...

Edited by anonrobt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No - was referring to doing something much as I do... most my works begin with a 'theme/title' which encapsulates the essence of the idea, and the visual follows - often immediately, tho sometimes the theme/title sits in the file awhile... or, if there is a visual for stimulation [something seen or observed], a theme/title often pops in mind, and the result ends being the rendering, which is taking that theme/title and composing the visual to its best advantage [the visual, then, as such, becoming props to the idea, however detailed the rendering may become... and yes, often there are variations which pop up and thus a series evolves...

Most artists, it seems, deal primarily with visual, composing the rendering from a technical standpoint, and leaving it much as that -

I wouldn't call it "composing the rendering from a technical standpoint," but composing it from the standpoint of finding it emotionally expressive or satisfying.

the theme only vaguely in mind if in any conscious sense at all, thus the titles usually banal or numbered... some have conscious themes to begin with, but only happenstance it seems, and their titling reflects often a vagueness rather than clarity... yours seem to be as clear as the renderings, yet reflect a divergence from the expected consequence, so wondered how you arrive at the works and the theme/titling...

My titles are generally afterthoughts and are chosen to reflect mere aspects of the paintings by which to identify them, not to summarize or encompass a theme or meaning.

For example, I see the woman in "Pensive" as being deeply contemplative, with a mindset leaning more toward seriousness or wistfulness than something like giddiness, but her mindset is not what the painting, as a whole, means to me. I could have also titled it "Sanctum," "Legacy," "Structure and Flow," "Harmony," "Näktergaldröm" or a number of other options, since each could also be seen as naming an identifying aspect of the painting.

With "Resolve," I considered "Claire-Obscure," "Invisible Forces," and "Nude in Slate Gray," among others. And, again, none of which would have been meant to summarize the painting's theme or meaning.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I never use thematic titles for my paintings, only dry and factual descriptive titles (still life, landscape, etc.). To me those thematic titles always sound pretentious.

The more that I paint, the more I think I'm inclined to agree.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...