Creating artwork is my passion, a refuge from the modern world, a time for me to reflect and express; an absolute necessity for me to feel complete. I try to give the viewer a window into a perception of a reality in which I find refuge. I prefer to focus on Southwestern landscapes and European landscapes not only for the naturally beautiful compositions, the colors and endless inspiration, but also because of the effect of seasonal changes and variations due to light in those magical parts of the world.
I knew by the time I was in high school that I would become a professional artist; but I also knew several people who had majored in art only to find themselves working in other fields with no time left for creativity. My solution was to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing while minoring in Fine Art, thereby arming himself with the know-how to develop a career as a professional artist. Originally from Arkansas it was the time Johnathan Harris spent in Santa Fe and the Southwest that jump-started his professional career and allowed him to spend intimate time with the landscape that had long ago captured his imagination.
I first develop my ideas for a painting by visiting a location and allowing the landscape to influence me. I then photograph the location extensively. When I return to my studio, I work from photographs and memories of the chosen landscape. Expression with color allows me to be free while creating the landscape in the way that I perceive it. Landscapes speak loudly to me and I set out to interpret and capture those feelings. I attempt to capture on canvas the sensations and revelations I experience when I am in the midst of nature.
I paint from dark to light, often leaving dark borders around lighter forms to further impact the light and color that so thoroughly capture the immediacy of the heartfelt interaction with nature. When I look at Southwestern landscapes, I see the stark contrast of earth and sky... mountain and valley... sand and sage.
Johnathan Harris was born in a small town in Northwest Arkansas. Very early in his life he discovered his passion for art. After visiting New Mexico at a young age, the beauty and charm of the Southwest landscape captivated him and soon became the subject matter for his paintings. Capturing the Vibrancy of the Southwest became the driving force behind his work. After travelling across Europe in his 20's and 30's, the beauty of those landscapes also made an indelible mark on him and has become a constant theme in many of his paintings.