John Payne is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. He has also studied under contemporary realist painter David Zuccarini. John spends countless hours searching for photos that evoke a nostalgic feeling which he strives to bring back to life. His first goal is to discover a forgotten image tucked away amongst old books for generations. John’s next major task is to transform these images onto canvas. “As an artist, I do what I can with the use of oil paint and canvas to provide the viewer with a clear vision of a moment lost in time”.
John prefers to paint with as much detail as possible, but not so detailed that it could be labeled as “hyper-realistic”. His intent is not to copy an old image but to enhance and bring that image to life.
The photographic black and white photos are often diffused, grainy and lack any sense of reality. Despite these visual obstacles, John is challenged and excited to turn these images into a work of art. He takes the liberty of turning these ordinary, everyday scenes into a compositionally balanced, more aesthetically pleasing work of art that evokes a feeling of a bygone era. John spends much time choosing the color palettes that will best enhance the imagery. He considers the level of detail to be allowed for each of his subject matters. John’s work is as interesting up close as it is from afar.
To John, it’s always been about the passion to draw and paint. His first memory of being recognized for his ability to draw was in kindergarten. While in high school John began to receive commissions for artwork. He says he has never wanted to pursue any other craft.
There are many artists who have deeply influenced John. In particular, he has been most inspired by the styles of Winslow Homer, Rembrandt van Rijn, and Norman Rockwell.
John’s approach to painting is to capture the observer`s imagination and draw them into the painting. “I want to transport the viewer back into time. I like to paint people from the past, from all social classes, interacting in everyday natural situations. I want my art to CREATE a mood, evoke a feeling, even to bring back old memories. Today so many of us exist in a world that is fast paced. It’s difficult to slow down, take a breath and to see all the beauty that surrounds us” says John. “As a result, I want to CREATE images that transport us to a place that is calming, inviting and CREATEs feeling of carefree days of long ago.”
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