For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with patterns. I enjoy exploring ways to develop, organize, and create relationships between them. The vocabulary of symbols I use in paintings has evolved over time. Compositions are made up of a series of layers and a combination of planned and chance elements.

I map out the drawing that underpins a painting in pencil, using rulers and other drafting tools to establish infrastructure. The rest is done free hand to create contrast between hand-drawn and ruled lines. I continue to refine the line work as I ink the drawing. When applying paint I generally work from light to dark, and then from translucent to opaque. Variations in color, opacity, and method of application activate the composition. Watercolor and other water based media on paper can be unforgiving, so I keep test paper nearby while I work. The test papers function as a kind of free form sketchbook as well as blotters.

My choice of imagery is personal, and often inspired by actual things or places. Where I live and what I see have always had an impact on what I make. Patterns and colors I use are abstracted from those experiences. Translating the abstractions into a resolved composition is a process that continues to hold my interest. I am always curious to see how the landscape of my everyday life will work its way into the landscape of my paintings.


Watch Nature's Geometry in Art, a short video profile by John Thornton created April 2014.