Artist Statement

JOHN RAWLINGS: ARTIST & STORYTELLER
Artist, Author, co-director of Art&Soul Artist Residencies, and retired Art Professor.

John Rawlings is an Artist working in a variety of mediums--2D & 3D. His works are shown worldwide...from Australia to Italy, Egypt, Mexico, and beyond. He is inspired by nature and often incorporates found natural materials in his work. He is best described as a "Symbolist" in his style and artistic focus. He is profoundly influenced by the images of ancient and indigenous art.


His studio is in Montana, in the Northwest of the U.S. an hour from the Canadian border. You can find him at work in his log studio in the woods near the town of Whitefish, during the summer and fall. He does commissioned work, in drawing, painting, sculpture and installations. 

In the winter John co-facilitates with his wife and artistic partner, Souheir Rawlings at an Artist Retreat in New Mexico, where he continues his art-making in the Southwest. In Springtime, he and Souheir travel to Venice, Italy where they run another Artist Residency in April...his studio work there is in a converted cloister or out on the lagoon islands, along the canals, or in the campos.

 

For more info about Art&Soul Residencies, open this link :

As a published author, John has shared his love of Venice, Italy in a new book titled, "Siamo Foresti" and is currently working on a childrens' art book, "Clem the Chameleon" 

I’ve been an artist and teacher for 50 years. I have always believed that to teach art with any sense of validity one must be constantly involved in the making of it. What this means is that I have been a practitioner for quite a long time, and the end product is a proficiency and skill level that is predictable; even expected. When I produce a piece of art work, I simply put these skills to work. After 50 years I honestly don’t have the faintest idea what creativity means, and don’t have much time for those who speak about creativity and inspiration. I simply go to work.

 

However, I believe that the ‘spirit’ of art is in every human and is a manifestation of some subconscious knowledge that we are all a part of the one thing…Are connected to this universe that surrounds us. When human beings are touched by beauty, either in the natural world or in the works of artists, they are recognizing this connection, most often unconsciously, and I believe that this reaffirmation is the most important function of the arts.

 

In my studio a photograph of my son taken when he was visiting Nepal, hangs over my bench. He is walking along a wall of prayer wheels, spinning them as he passes. This sends the prayer “Om Mani Padme Hum” (May all life live as one) back into the universe, and that because this prayer sustains and nourishes, it MUST be said. Someone must say it. I believe every art work is in fact a prayer, and no matter how inconsequential and trivial, I believe my efforts produce a prayer that awaits some viewer to come along and spin it.

 

Someone has to say the prayer.

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