For most of the past 25 years my painting inspiration has come from the New England landscape, the human figure, and from memory and imagination. But recently I have been revisiting painting masterworks from the 14th to the 17th Centuries. My fascination is with the underlying structural elements of their compositions. What is it about the painting that excites me beyond the narrative or subject matter? That delicate curve? The slashing diagonal cutting through the repeated verticals? As for my colors, they may be related to those in the original masterwork, or more likely, from nature, advertising, or house paint sample books. Most recently I have explored applying a reductionist grid system to Baroque tapestries in an effort to “translate” these dynamic masterworks for a more modernist sensibility. If you are an art appreciator consider how a painting can be a “thing” of contemplation as much as a mountain, a bowl of fruit, or a human figure, and how art can be made from art, again and again.
John Carnes, "Exaltation in Red," watercolor, 2016, 18.5" x 12.5" 5 months ago
John Carnes, "American Baroque III," watercolor, 2018, 20" x 38" 5 months ago
John Carnes, "American Baroque II," watercolor, 2017, 16" x 22" 5 months ago
John Carnes, "American Baroque," watercolor, 2017, 22.5" x 15" 5 months ago
John Carnes 5 months ago