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Now in the Judith Holiday Gallery

MIRAGE. Paintings by John Lyon Paul

Mirage #4b (Moon Window) Mirage #11 (Water) Mirage #9 (Earth) Mirage #11 (Water)
Photos by Gary Hodges Photography

Mirage #4b (Moon Window):
mixed media on collaged elements, 40” x 32”, 1994

Mirage #5:
mixed media on collaged elements, 32” x 38”, 1994

Mirage #6:
mixed media on collaged elements, 40” x 32”, 1994

Mirage #9 (Earth):
mixed media on collaged elements, 40” x 32”, 1994

Mirage #11 (Water):
mixed media on collaged elements, 40” x 32”, 1994

Artist's Statement:
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.  For me, making art is like walking.  It involves leaning into the unknown, alive with anticipation, but with a sense of destination.  From the first step onward, it is like finding my way home in the growing light of dawn. I began to make artworks at the same time as I began to practice meditation.  These two practices, the receptive and the active have informed my entire creative life.  My path has led me to work in both two and three dimensions, and to employ a wide range of materials and processes.  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 the world.  We relate to them with our bodies.  Mine are magnetized by silence.  Their presence witnesses.  Their stillness invites us to listen.

John Lyon Paul began to make sculptures at the same time that he began to practice meditation.  These two practices, the receptive and the active, have informed his entire creative life and generated a large and innovative output of artworks.  Entirely self-taught, and the master of many materials, John spends about equal time painting and sculpting in the solitude of the studio he built in the hills near Ithaca. As a member of the Greater Ithaca Art Trail, John welcomes visitors to explore his artworks and to interact with two, large sculptures Many Thousands Gone and Nagasaki Prayerwheel.  John's work is exhibited in the museums and galleries and is in private collections across the country.

His early sculptures were figurative (Meditating Head, Muse, Catacomb Self- Portrait, Priestess, Rosewood Ballerina), directly carved in wood or hammered in metal.   In 1982, John took a vow of silence during the seven months it took to make the sculpture, Vow of Silence. Since that time his sculptures have taken on new, and more abstract forms needed to embrace the areas of his explorations.  

John's paintings clearly emerge from the kinesthetic awareness evident in his sculptures. His use of color and line with their pulse, vibration, and rhythms invite the viewer to enter and travel them.  A journey through the 100-painting Pilgrimage series unfolds like a new visual language.  Subsequent series (Oracle, Mirage, Templates for Another Life) lead us to his Meditation Shawls, and, more recently, his Shrouds for Children, where we are invited to imagine our bodies wrapped in meditation and in compassion.  He is currently working on Studies, which are astonishingly fresh and immediate explorations painted with acrylic inks on Mylar and glass.