The first thing a viewer notices about a Johnathan Harris landscape is the remarkable finesse the artist exhibits in his use of unrestrained color, capturing realism then departing just enough to convey the emotions the scene evoked in him. “My art gives the viewer a window into a perception of a reality in which I find refuge,” Harris states.
Johnathan Harris knew by the time he was in high school he would become a full-time artist; but he also knew people who had majored in art only to find themselves working in other fields with no time left for creativity. His solution was to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Management while minoring in Fine Art, thereby arming himself with the know-how to develop a career as a professional artist; and he succeeded fifteen years ahead of the schedule he had in mind. Originally from Arkansas, it was the time Johnathan Harris spent in Santa Fe and the Southwest that jump-started his professional career and allowed him to spend intimate time with the landscape that had long ago captured his imagination.
“I first develop my ideas for a painting by visiting a location and allowing the landscape to influence me,” Johnathan Harris explains; “I then photograph the location extensively. When I return to my studio, I work from photographs and memories of the chosen landscape. Expression with color allows me to be free while creating the landscape in the way that I perceive it . . . To me, art is a passion and a refuge. Landscapes speak loudly to me and I set out to interpret and capture those feelings … I attempt to capture on canvas the sensations and revelations I experience when I am in the midst of nature.”
Johnathan Harris paints from dark to light, leaving dark borders around lighter forms to further impact the light and color that so thoroughly capture the immediacy of his heartfelt interaction with nature. “When I look at Southwestern landscapes, I see the stark contrast of earth and sky . . . mountain and valley . . . sand and sage,” Johnathan Harris states. His is a vision wholly singular in its execution and wholly inclusive in its power to draw the viewer in.