I have practiced and taught observational drawing and painting professionally for over two decades. Over that time, my fascination with bearing witness to the world has only grown. Drawing and painting manifests visual experience in methodical, reflective ways which stand in contrast to the ephemeral modes of seeing which are dominate the present culture with its ubiquitous digital technology. I relish seeing in this slower way, trying to withholding judgement, and I hope that through such seeing, understanding-and even compassion-might emerge. As I merge moments of observation into complex studio paintings, I reflect not only on the things seen, but on my own responses thereto, as well as their meaning within the present and art-historical context of picturing. This exhibition is a gathering of selections from a few parallel and sometimes interrelated bodies of work that I continue to develop in differing rhythms. Shown here are several examples of my observational paintings of figures, urban landscapes, natural landscapes, and still life. The larger figurative paintings in the exhibition are studio compositions in which I gather together figures and urban landscape elements from my observational drawings and paintings. In these larger compositions, I have allowed the themes of each individual painting to emerge over time as the figures and spaces suggest new directions. While I have tended to show these bodies of work separately as they fit into the themes of group and solo exhibitions, for the present exhibition I elected to gather them together, and show a sampling of my various interests.
Acknowledgments and Thanks: The Sierra Paintings (represented by 5 works in this exhibition), were supported by a Faculty Research and Development Grant from Biola University.
To Rafe and Jan Payne for introducing me to the visual wonders and excellent people of Bahía de los Angeles, and for supporting me tangibly in my work there during my past two sabbaticals (3 works from Bahía are present in the exhibition). To Hannah Sapigao, senior painting major at Biola, who tirelessly worked to help me prepare this exhibition. To Morgan Carrión (Dixon), a former student and wise friend, who posed for several figures in the Day Paintings. Most of all to Jeniffer, Jesenya, and Jesiah, my wife and daughters, who patiently endure life with a painter. My life with you three in our humble home is the substance and nourishment of these paintings.
Jonathan Puls teaches drawing, painting and art history in the Department of Art of Biola University. He holds an M.F.A. in Drawing and Painting and an M.A. in in Art History. Jonathan's ongoing drawings and paintings pull their imagery from contemporary life, mingling these with compositional concerns from art historical sources. His teaching, studio production and historical research focus on the relationship between immediate observation and compositional synthesis.
Presented by the Progress Gallery