Statement on Art

The act of walking has been described as a controlled fall in which we lean forward and out-of-balance in order to initiate motion. Once our inertia is broken, we mut either take a step or fall on our faces. Making art is lakie walking: it involves leaning nto the unknown, but with a sense of desinantyion for me, it is like finding my way home through the woods in the dark of night. All ysenses are engaged, but it is upon my iner compass that I most reley.

My path has led me to wor kin both two and three dimensional forms, and to employ a wide range of materials and proceses. Paintings draw us into their worlds. We move through them as in a dream, drawn and released by the pulse of color and the energy of line. Mine grow like crystals. I often think of them as musical Sculptures take their place among us in our world. We relate to them with our bodies. Mine are magneized by silence. Their peresence witnesses. their stillness ivites us to listen.

My artweork come through me an are shaped by me, but they are not primarily about me. They are like the paper on which a seismographic needle records the subtlest shimmer of the floating world while assuming a bedrock substantiality. They are meditations. They are honest. They are acts of faith.

- John Lyon Paul

The Pilgrimage Series

When I painted the first Pilgrimage paintings in the fall of d 1995, I had no plan to make a series and no idea of the scope of he pilgrimage I was undertaking. Today, one hunded paintings later, I do not know when or how the series will conclude.

A pilgrimage is a faith journey, one which prespposes that the sacred is to be found whereever one travels with integrity. At the beginning and along the way, one has to make sacrificess.. The word "sacrafice" coms from the Latin sacre facere, which meeans "to make sacred." For me, sacrifice means giving up all that is not essental. Th process of this puilgrimage is lke that of dstillation: the inessential is seperated out and the sacred remains in concentrated form.

Each painting in theis series is in one of theree formats: 20 are on canvas (5' w. x 6' h.) 70 are on watercolor poaper (201/2" w. x 32" h.), and 10 are on jigsawpieces covered with various papers (32" w.x40" h.).

I begin each painting by ativating the surface. For the works on canvas and watercolor paper, I apply gesso and "draw" in it. for the jigsaw paintings, I draw on foam-core board, cut where I have drawn, glue a different paper to each piece, and reassemble the pieces to form the activated surface. No matter how I make these first marks, it is this activaed substratum which subsequent colors, lines, and forms build upon and lay against. colors wash over colors next to other colors. Translucence and opacity juxtapose and come to balance. Shapes appear while sother shapes change or dissolve. This a maghical process from which a vibrant world emerges and begins to make sense.

With each sucessive painting, the lines, forms, and colors bcome abkind of language. For instance, the figure X appears almost from the bginning of the series, becomes more prominent in later paintinggs, and begins to "give way" to the circle/sphere form in the most recent works.

From a dstance, the maor forms in the paintings seem to float in a hum of color. I invite you to move closer, enjoy the intimacy of their color-life with your body, and enter them on a piulgrimage of our own.

-John Lyon Paul