Welcome to December's edition of our Artist of the Month blog! Here, we appreciate and celebrate the incredible artwork of talented artists from around the world. From abstract paintings to intricate pencil drawings, each piece of art featured is sure to ignite your creativity and inspire your inner artist. So if you're looking for creative inspiration or just want to appreciate the beauty of art, our Artist of the Month blogs are the perfect place to start!
This month, we are so excited to introduce you to contemporary seascape artist Jon White, whose artworks captivate and transport us to paradise. We had the pleasure of chatting with Jon and getting to know more about him and his craft...
Q. Where have you found inspiration lately?
A. I spend my summers in France teaching art. This year I spent some time at Etretat where Monet painted. I found the light there was very inspirational. I also enjoy reading theology and the idea of beauty which influences my painting. Of course, living by the sea I’m never far from inspiration.
Q. Is there a piece of art or a project that you are particularly excited about right now?
A. I’m working on a collection of paintings titled “Windows To The Sea.”
For a year now I’ve been painting these “windows.” I continue to paint on a larger scale but I’ve found the attention to detail in choosing to paint smaller becomes a way of slowing my thoughts down. My hope is that the paintings act like a window that points beyond the painting itself, provoking memories and experiences of the sea for those who take the time to look at them.
Q. What kinds of tools or references do you like to use when creating artwork?
A. I use anything that will stick to canvas! I often paint with quite raw materials. A lot of my more recent work hasn’t had a paintbrush involved. I try and walk early in the morning with my sketchbook around the coast path which then influences my studio work.
Q. What artists or artworks (from your life or art history) do you admire or consider influential to your work & why?
A. I was fortunate to spend some time in America learning from contemporary artist Makoto Fujiumura. His work, discipline, insights and worldview have been and continue to be very formative for my own thinking and practice.
There are plenty of other artists who I love and learn from the past; Monet, Chagall, Rothko, C Y Twombly to name a few.
Q. What advice do you have for other new or aspiring artists?
A. Piccasso said “inspiration exists but it has to find you working.” Don’t underestimate the importance of putting the work in. Daily rhythms and practices that ground you and keep you going. I would also say to try and have a long term vision of what life looks like as an artist. It doesn’t always happen overnight.
Q. Professionally, what has been your biggest achievement so far?
A. I’ve sold more pieces than Van Gogh did in his lifetime so I guess that’s a start…
Q. What is your first memory of creating art?
A. I painted Constantine Bay near Padstow on a small square canvas when I was 5. A block of yellow, a block of dark blue and a block of light blue. I think my family still has that painting.
Q. How do you spend your time when you’re not creating artwork?
A. I love to walk and swim. Reading and discovering new music also and spending time with my kids. The summer art project I’m involved in that takes place in France also takes a lot of my attention. All these things play into my art practice.
Q. What work do you most enjoy doing?
A. I most enjoy painting on a large scale. Sometimes that is in my studio on a large canvas but other times it has look liked painting murals at restaurants or public spaces, other times painting live and on a large scale at music festivals or working with interior designers to create a body of work for individual homes and projects.
Q. What is your dream project?
A. I like the idea of filling large spaces like cathedrals with my paintings and taking that on tour somehow. One day I’d love to do this in collaboration with some of my other artist friends who work in different mediums.
I also really enjoy projects such as commissions that allow me to express my work in more specific ways for individuals, businesses or homes.
It's been an absolute joy getting to know the extraordinary Jon - he's an inspiration to us all! His stunning artwork can be seen on his website and Instagram, so make sure to check them out. We'll be back again in 2024 with our Artist of the Month blog series, so stay tuned!