Artistic Excellence 2015 | Honorable Mention: John McCartin


John McCartin, Golden Meadows, oil, 29 x 43.

John McCartin, Golden Meadows, oil, 29 x 43.

What inspired your winning entry? Driving past cows grazing in the late-afternoon sun stopped me in my tracks. It’s one of those scenes that just happen when you least expect it. You feel you just want to share this beauty with others.

Where did you study art? Unfortunately, I had no opportunity to study art, so I had to teach myself. Art training institutions in Australia teach conceptual “art” rather than representational realism.

How did you first get interested in art? My interest in art came from seeing paintings from the 19th and early 20th century, particularly the American landscape reproductions, which came to Australian framing shops in the early 1970s.

Did you pursue other careers before you became a full-time artist? I worked in public service for many years to support my family before becoming a full-time artist. No career other than painting ever interested me.

What inspires you to paint a scene? Whatever strikes an emotional chord. It can be a display of color or an arrangement of shapes that make up a scene. These things register purely on a subconscious level before I have time to think about whether or not it will make a good painting.

What is your creative process? In the past most of my work has been market-driven and is composed using multiple digital images. Lately more of my work is being done from life, as I’m becoming increasingly aware of my need to maintain a fresh approach and to re-establish an emotional connection to my subject. Hence plein-air painting is playing a more important role in my painting process.

What galleries represent your work? Trailside Galleries, Jackson, WY, and Scottsdale, AZ; Settlers West Galleries, Tucson, AZ; New Masters Gallery, Carmel, CA; John McCartin Fine Art Gallery, Hahndorf, SA, Australia; Morpeth Gallery, Morpeth, NSW, Australia; Gallery France, Dordogne, France.


Featured in the December 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
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