Paintings by Johnnie Ross
"Being a painter working within a contemporary dialogue, but creating in an intuitive mode, allows for the influence of these powerful archaic American images."
The beauty, sophistication and power of prehistoric Southwestern rock art, petroglyphs and pictographs have profoundly inspired Johnnie Ross. As the Navajo conceived of sight in terms of hard and soft eyes, Ross' paintings incorporate hard specifics like rock, sand and water in delicate balance with the soft beauty of place.
The basic personality of Ross' work is created by stains and marks on a textured ground that has been mixed with fine abalone shell and marble dust. After building up a "paint history" of 75-100 layers of oil color, the rich translucent image in luminous tones elicits memories of the past within its contemporary composition.
Johnnie is on the faculty at the Maine College of Art.