John PrestonFat Man and Little BoyWatercolor on paper, 16 x 20”
John PrestonMississippi ElevatorWatercolor on paper, 16 x 20”, 2021
John PrestonCanton Contre JourWatercolor on paper, 16 x 20”, 2021
John PrestonApproaching Lock and DamWatercolor on paper,16 x 20”, 2021
John PrestonSometimes Too DryWatercolor on paper,16 x 20”, 2021
John Preston Artist Statement:My contributions to this exhibit are Realism in the sense used by Courbet and the Barbizon school, when all painting was “realistic” in appearance. Namely, the portrayal of everyday life, as opposed to historical or religious subjects, great battles or portraits of nobility. I am generally known for what I call the “Amber Waves of Grain Thing”: expansive fields and dramatic skies. I am very much taken with those things, coming from a suburban background. It is breathtaking, but it’s not the whole picture. Hopefully these images complete my treatment of Midwestern agriculture and the climate change currently driving that meteorological drama I found arresting. I wish to be known as a Realist and a Romantic. These “grittier” images keep my previous work from being “spin”. Perhaps surprisingly, these things are as interesting to me as those original inspirations. It’s not particularly beautiful subject matter but hopefully I’ve seen it beautifully. Light redeems the ugliest subject and in the spirit of those earlier practitioners of Realism, perhaps I can make the viewer examine their idea of “beautiful”.
John PrestonDrawn UpOil on canvas,36 x 36”, 2006
John PrestonThe Weather GaugeOil on canvas,36 x 36”, 2006
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John PrestonEddyville IsengardWatercolor on paper,16 x 20”, 2022
John PrestonHidden MississippiWatercolor on paper, 20 x 16”, 2022