Featured Artist: John Oat!

Down on the Rocks by John Oat 11x14

Down on the Rocks by John Oat  11×14  Oil

John Oat. An amazing person and a fabulous artist. I love this painting. It is so beautiful to me. I love the orange underpainting. LOVE the skillful way that he painted the water – WOW! It looks so clear. The rocks sit firmly in the water, sometimes those kinds of things can appear to be floating and not firmly placed. This is perfect. Wonderful light on the rocks, love the colors. This painting is in John’s NEW WORK collection.

September Morning by John Oat 12x16

September Morning by John Oat  12×16  Oil

Another fabulous painting, many of you who visit Monhegan will recognize this house! I like the view that John painted this house, so that you see the Red House in the distance, as well as Manana Island… So nice! This painting is in his Monhegan Views collection – be sure to check them all out. Just beautiful! John spends time on Monhegan Island each year, painting up a storm! You will see the many beautiful Monhegan (as well as other paintings).

This is the “Johnson House”, if you’re walking out of the Novelty with your ice cream cone, you would turn left and at the top of Horns Hill sits this house on your left hand side. You can see a remarkable distance from this vantage point. It’s also available to rent (Google “Johnson House Monhegan”) – check out the fabulous photos of the interior, a cool place indeed. While renting a cottage would be a ton of fun, we are hooked on our home away from home, The Island Inn… but it’s always fun to think about!

Read a bit about John, from his website, and be sure to check out his paintings! Great Bio/Artist Statement John! I love when artists take the time to make this special, and John did just that:

A graduate of the Design and Illustration program at School of Visual Arts in New York, with a B.F.A. from The University of North Carolina in Greensboro, NC, John Oat has enjoyed a 40 – plus year career as a Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Art Director and Fine Artist.

John was born and raised in the scenic southeastern corner of Connecticut. He grew up near Norwich, a small New England city with the benefit of a high school offering a unique fine arts program. He started painting plein air oils while attending the Norwich Art School when one of his art teachers encouraged him to paint something outside the classroom and he was immediately captivated by the challenge.

He was influenced early in his painting career by plein air painters Charles H. Davis, Willard Metcalf, and Childe Hassam, who had been drawn to coastal Connecticut because of the quality of its light and atmosphere. John painted and exhibited on Martha’s Vineyard early in his career and while living in Mystic, Connecticut became an active artist with The Mystic Arts Center.

While on a painting trip to Monhegan Island, Maine in the 1990’s Oat had the good fortune of finding a mentor in Don Stone N.A who opened his eyes to a fresh, vibrant, direct approach to painting. He is grateful for his friendship with Don, for generously sharing his time and expertise during workshops on Monhegan and his steadfast encouragement. As Don would say, “It’s never to late to do what you love, and the most important thing is to love what you do.”

John’s favorite painters vary from Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Joaquin Sorolla, Robert Henri, George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, Edward Hopper and Jove Wang.

At this period of his professional career John paints exclusively in oils. He has exhibited his work in both group and solo shows and his paintings hang in many private collections.

Artist Statement 
I like to paint outdoors now because I get so much enjoyment working directly from nature. I appreciate the challenge of creating a painting when the light and atmosphere can change, sometimes dramatically in seconds, and there may only be minutes available to capture it on canvas.

Painting from nature is the best way to learn how to paint. The subject matter, colors, and light observed while painting outdoors cannot be made up in a studio setting. Of course you can create wonderful paintings in the studio, but painting on location provides a more direct relationship with the subject, a unique relationship. I hope to share through my paintings, a brief glimpse of my experience in an outdoor setting by expressing the feeling I get from a particular place. The movement of light and color over the subject matter inspires me to tell the story of a unique moment in time. Hopefully my paintings speak to each viewer about the wonder of our natural environment.

What about the studio work? 
Sometimes it is nice to be indoors where you are out of the weather, with a cup of tea and stable lighting conditions. I use the studio to put the finishing touches on paintings started outdoors. The studio is also a great place to paint “remembered” impressions from unique experiences at an outdoor site. I use sketch book notes and digital photos that I’ve taken while painting outdoors as references for my studio work. Photo references remain secondary to what originally inspired me to paint the scene.

All images via JohnOat.com, used with permission…

Images are not for reproduction, they are property of the artist.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

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