John J. Andersen

Life Dates:
b. 1980
Artist Biography:
My Paintings are a continuation in the tradition of American Realism painting, while at the same time adding my own personal vision and contemporary ideas. My chief subject is the rural Midwest landscape with its expressive skies, vast fields, reflective lakes, and characteristic trees. I often include modern elements to serve as evidence of the human impact and relationship with nature. Change and memory are my central themes. I capture the transient and ephemeral qualities of the light and atmosphere in the changing seasons with waxing or waning light. This challenge drives me to constantly explore various techniques, materials, and approaches. I create plein air paintings in oil paints and oil pastels, as well as studio paintings using a variety of source material including my photography, sketches, direct observations of nature, and most importantly memory. I use a modern impressionistic style with my plein air paintings and when painting from memory. For larger studio paintings, I use a more meticulous, realistic style with a variety of texture and glazing techniques to create form and space. My goal is not to document a place but to use paint to express mood and my feelings towards the landscape. My greatest influences in landscape painting are, J. M.W. Turner, Casper David Friedrich, Claude Monet, George Inness, and Andrew Wyeth. Their styles and backgrounds vary greatly. What they all have in common is a visionary, poetic, and spiritual approach to painting the landscape, rather than an analytical one. They broke with the traditions of their time and in so doing became timeless visionaries. From website:

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