John Carnes 


I've been painting for 26 years. After I completed a 27-year career as a human rights lawyer for the State of Maine, I began painting full-time from my studio at Artdogs Studios in Gardiner, Maine. That was 14 years ago.

Because of my love of 19th Century British watercolors (e.g., John Sell Cotman, Peter DeWint) then Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent, I began taking my paint kit with me on most of my fly fishing trips to camp in the western mountains of Maine. But after I discovered Cezanne's late watercolors, my focus began to shift from describing the natural world realistically, to exploring the characteristics of my watercolor medium and what it can do on a sheet of paper. For a while I even separated the graphite underdrawing from the paint.

The past three or four years I've been isolating shapes found in nature, the human form, and Renaissance and Baroque master paintings, or applying a grid to the same. The challenge then becomes arranging color within the shape or the grid in a way that, I hope, suggests movement and depth to the viewer. I've found that exploration in paint can be unending.