About the Artist

John Bowdren

Art Statement

John Bowdren - Biography

I moved to Maine in 1992 after living in New York City, Seattle and Connecticut. I graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1982. I enjoy being out in nature and exploring the environment, when I was younger I spent a summer in Bryce Canyon National Park with the Student Conservation Assc. and an Alumni summer program with them at the Rocky Mountain National Park as well as a summer in England with the Experiment in International Living.  The coast is my favorite inspiration. The contrasts and tensions along the waters edge, the movement and interaction of water, land and sky, between man-made and natural objects catches my interest. The echo of people's presence is important in my work, how they and the things they use, like small boats and wharves interact and become part of the coastal scene. I enjoy the lines and designs of small boats,either by themselves or moored to a float or dock, their sense of waiting and use, how they interact with the light, reflections and space speak to my eyes and instinct for what will become an interesting picture.
The quality of light makes Maine a special place, the long lingering summer light is emotionally interesting, as in the fusing of colors in the late afternoon or the way the setting sun will light up tree tops or pick out boats on the water. Each season shows a new face, the clear sharp Winter light, the vivid greens of Spring, the competition of colors in Autumn, each it's own challenge of line, color, composition and intention.
I paint in oils, acrylics and watercolor, I also work with wood in sculpture or woodblocks for printing. My reaction to the subject will suggest the materials to use. The main thing is to convey the quality of the light, seeing in the landscape how light reveals aspects of composition, and how color and light can carry that Ah-Ha moment of discovery and emotion to the viewer.

John Bowdren - Biography
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