John Payne, a 1986 graduate of Maryland Institute College of Art, spends countless hours searching historical archives for photos that evoke a need to be brought to life. His first goal is to discover a forgotten image tucked away amongst old books for over a hundred years. 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”.
The photograhic black and white photos are often dissfused, 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 chosing 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 commmisssions for artwork. He says he has never wanted to pursue any other craft.
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.”
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. There are many artists who have deeply influenced John. In particular, he has been most inspired by the styles of Winslow Homer, Henri Fantin-Latour, and Edouard Manet.
McBride Gallery is pleased to represent this talented artist.