John Walker bio

At heart I'm a storyteller, and the paintings I create usually have a tale to tell, enigmatic tho it may be. I paint narratives, large or small, actual or nearly so, that I perceive taking place all around us. My approach to painting is representational, although the work evolves from an imaginative core. Painting in a realistic style allows for a direct interpretation of the thoughts that wind around in my mind as I explore my subjects. In some cases, a painting's story is almost fully rendered, while in others I prefer to present a mere suggestion to act as a starting point for the viewer's interpretation.

Just as thoughts intertwine, building into larger mental concepts, I weave dry brushed strokes around colored glazes of acrylic paint to build value and form on the painting's surface. Initially, glazes are liberally brushed or sometimes poured over the surface and then manipulated with a variety of tools to create texture and depth, while leaving enough space for the “random happy accident” to expand upon. As the work progresses areas are refined and detail added. Multiple, sometimes aggressive, applications of paint demand a rigid foundation, so I typically work on a gessoed hardboard panel.

Recently I've begun to include looser, more abstract passages in my paintings along with more intense color. I find these aspects can work, in an almost counter intuitive way, to reinforce the painting's focus and direction.

John Walker studied at the College of DuPage in Wheaton IL and the American Academy of Art in Chicago IL. Upon graduation he worked at Feldkamp/Malloy before becoming a staff illustrator at Higgens Hegner Genovese and later a freelance illustrator with Frank Lux and Associates. For over fifteen years he has worked from his own studio creating artwork for a diverse group of advertising and publishing clients including National Geographic, The Bradford Exchange, McDonalds, Warner Brothers and Random House.

John has always painted for personal satisfaction,as time and obligations allowed, but the past few years have seen a greater share of his time and energy devoted to creating fine art. He has recently returned to exhibiting his work in public and has taken first place honors in several local shows. His painting Rose won a First Place Award at the 2010 Alliance of Fine Art's Best of the Best exhibit and he is a participant in this year's show once again.