INTERVIEW
Michael Corbin, the contemporary art writer, has written an interview about my work.
It can be read online at:
http://artbookguy.com/john-day-journeys-in-wilderness-_998.html

His website features other interviews and writings about art:
http://artbookguy.com
PAINTING
My work has its source in wilderness. In travels through forests of the Northeast, I observe natural phenomena, which generates ideas for the development of paintings. These abstractions, using organic forms, convey a sense of the mystery, exuberance and power found in nature. My intent is to create a pictorial space which is reminiscent of moving through space in wilderness, where forms are encountered, recede into distance, and lodge in memory. My painting approach mirrors this intent. Natural forms - roots, branches, trees and vines - are used in a process of pictorial improvisation. The works are built up in layers with superimposed forms that define and divide pictorial space, and underlying passages are obscured or erased. There is an ongoing deliberate experimentation with mark making, textures, and painting approaches. Paintings are developed intuitively, where forms, passages and lines are placed in response to previous layers. The resolution of the paintings is dependent on this process.


The Glacial Pond series is derived from a group of ponds in a nature preserve in Nassau County, Long Island. The presence or absence of precipitation causes the water level in the ponds to rise and fall, from flood stage to nearly dry. The visual appearance and biological condition of the ponds also changes dramatically with the seasons. This series of paintings is based on the phenomena and conditions observed in the ponds. The appearance of the ponds at a specific time provides a starting point for a process of abstraction. The process eliminates extraneous detail and concentrates on the essence of what interests me about the subject. Light reflected from the ponds and from the material on the surface also influences this process.
INSTALLATION
I am interested in bringing wilderness into public spaces. I transform these spaces with the use of natural materials so that the spaces are significantly altered, and promote a dialog between manmade and natural environments. The tension that exists between these two worlds provides a challenging area for artistic activity. The process begins with a consideration of the structural or natural components of a given space. An idea for an installation is developed that responds to these components, and makes a statement about the natural world within a manmade space, or a park setting. My purpose is to create a work that relates closely to the natural environment, and communicates some of my thoughts and feelings about wilderness to people who visit the setting. It is hoped that viewers may contemplate the relationship and conflict between the space they are standing in and what remains of the natural world.

In travels through forests of the Northeast, I obtain ideas for my work by observing natural phenomena. I develop installations in natural and manmade spaces using materials that are found in the region. These materials may include branches, tree fragments, vines, moss, reeds, stones, and other natural objects. The installations vary in size and are usually temporary.
Back to Main Menu