John Eiseman

John Eisman

My work encompasses two primary genres - "Plein Air" landscapes and figures; using two primary mediums - oils and watercolors. The paintings are surely representational and indeed narrative at times, but the imagery is not "about" the pictorial. I use the subject matter (whether it be a farmhouse, tree, cloud, wave or figure) as elements of design in order to capture specific natural phenomena, moment in space and time and mood of "event." Painting is not just the celebration of vision but, rather a quest for experience. In this sense, my painting is not a recording of facts seen. It is the process of interpretation of a fleeting muse. This process is, as a result, in a constant state of emergency. Like dance, painting must change anew to the beat of the muse. After conceiving a painting in the field, establishing value relationships, coordinating color fields and bringing forth some detail resolution, I bring the painting home to its studio and let it "cook" for a while. Removed from the subjective space, the painting requires a life of its own. I hold suspicious a painting that is resolved easily. "Pushing and Pulling" an image, adding and subtracting values, adjusting colour is what brings a painting together. I generally try to stretch my own canvases. I use four coats of gesso, each layer less thinned that the previous one and I sand between coats. More often than not, I will tone the canvas with Acrylic. This allows me to "Push and Pull" from the middle of the tonal value scale. It also presents a homogeneous color field, enriching the overall body of colour. My palette is quite limited consisting of; Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Viridian, Burnt Umber and Titanium White. I may occasionally add another color or two depending on mood and subject. I rarely draw on the canvas, preferring to immediately paint, allowing the "drawing" to sculpt itself. I rely heavily on good "drawing" skills and expressive painterly techniques. I may be seen on many highways and byways painting directly from nature. My work is in many private and public collections including the Governor's Mansion in Annapolis, The Harrison Group in Ocean City, and Second National Building and Loan. My paintings have won numerous awards and have been accepted in many juried exhibitions both regionally and nationally.