When Covid hit, this artist went back to basics

Local artist finds new inspiration during the pandemic

By Christy Nadalin
Posted 8/15/20

When Covid restrictions forced everyone inside, painter John Jameson went outside.

That’s not to say he’s a rule-breaker — quite the opposite. “I’d rather take things …

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When Covid hit, this artist went back to basics

Local artist finds new inspiration during the pandemic

Posted

When Covid restrictions forced everyone inside, painter John Jameson went outside.

That’s not to say he’s a rule-breaker — quite the opposite. “I’d rather take things too seriously and have a clean conscience,” he said.

But when March rolled around and everything changed, he found himself gravitating to quiet, open places along the South Coast for work and inspiration. Some of his favorite spaces include East Beach and Horseneck in Westport, Sachuest Point and the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown, and Colt State Park, where he was recently spotted painting the historic bridge over the Mill Gut.

The Bristol resident (who will soon be relocating to Fall River) was raised in Somerset and educated at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and the New York Academy of Art. After earning his MFA in 2012, John served as a teaching assistant in portrait and figure painting classes at his New York alma mater before returning to the area and teaching at Bristol Community College.

His studio is located at New Bedford’s Kilburn Mill at Clarks Cove, a historic mill that has been repurposed with artists’ studios and entertainment and event spaces.

Mr. Jameson has traditionally painted in oil, a medium that emphasizes color, boldly organized compositions, and textured brushwork. But working outdoors, away from his studio, has forced him to expand his repertoire to use more watercolors and gouache.

“Oils can take weeks to dry,” he said. “Watercolors and gouache let me work quickly and impulsively, because they dry quickly. Sometimes too quickly.”

Putting together a living as a working artist is never easy, particularly during a pandemic. Shows are virtual, teaching opportunities are few and far between, but he does have some commissions, and he says his gouaches have been selling well. He’s looking for a gallery to represent his work on a more regular basis, but it’s a tough niché to find in the best of times — not being able to network and get out and make an impression makes it even more difficult.

Fortunately, Mr. Jameson has an artist’s perspective on this year on hold.

“Painting is my world,” he said. “But I’m patient. I can relax.”

To see more of Mr. Jameson’s work, follow him on Instagram @Johnamesonpaintings. His website (under development) is at Johnjamesonpaintings.com.

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

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