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Joshua Cunningham


Oil Painting is the way Joshua seeks to understand what interests him, stirs his faith, and awakens old memories. Whether painting in the studio or out in the field, he does his best to convey what caught his eye. He paints what he sees, because he feels representational painting offers a human expression of the world around us in a language we all hold in common. This vision led him out of college and onto a more personal path that evolved from working figure, to portraiture, to still-life, to work in the studio, and finally into working outside, painting the landscape, where he now continue to spend the bulk of his painting time. His understanding and empathy for what can constitute a ‘subject’ continues to grow with each painting. In his words:

“We are here, just for a time. Barns are here, just for a time. Cities are here, just for a time. The practice of painting on location deepens this awareness of fleeting time. The light and air conspire to reveal the land, inspiring my choices. Often it isn’t long before I find myself defending my work against mercurial skies and the constant march of the sun. The shadows move and the colors change, leaving one to paint from memory.

The field studies are finished work, in their own right. And they hold in them, the intense experience of their creation.  In the studio, these paintings return me to the scene, bringing back not only what I saw, but what I heard, what I smelled, what I felt in the air. It is all in the paint along with dust from the fields and grit from the road. The work reflects the visual and visceral experiences of a deep and spontaneous exploration of our connection to the natural world.

I am grateful for and inspired by both the patience and work of my mentors, Mark BalmaJeff Hurinenko, and Joe Paquet and the countless painters of the past, spanning from Velasquez to Metcalf. I see their lives, lived out in their works with all their struggle and success. Moving forward in my own work I find encouragement and caution in the words of my boyhood idol, Andrew Wyeth, “I think one’s art goes as deep as one’s love goes.”

Joshua Cunningham on the web

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