Every now and again I call upon my artist friends for an interview for my blog. Today, I’m spotlighting my friend and watercolor artist Jon Fuchs. I met Jon years ago, probably at an art show that we were both had a booth set up at. Jon is great guy and an imaginative artist with wonderful skills and talent.
This interview all came about because Jon had posted on Facebook a spooky tree painting (below). If you’re familiar with my art, you know I love to paint trees and sometimes they have a leaning towards the spooky or so I’m told. So of course I had to comment on it. Do you see the hidden eyes and teeth?! *squeal!* Actually, I didn’t see it until later… I know, I’m a little ashamed.
You’ll notice there’s writing below the painting. Jon likes to add writing about his paintings and so you don’t have to strain your eyes, here’s what it says about the painting titled “Spooky Tree”:
Jon’s writing about Spooky Tree
You walk in the woods after dark. A hazy mist begins to settle and creep along the path. An owl hoots and a dog barks in the distance but just barely audible. Night has chased the last rays of the sun’s dominion away and now it is the moon’s time to rule the sky and it’s beautiful and bright enough to cast eerie shadows if it wasn’t for the fog draping its cloak over the trees and bushes. You look up in a clearing there stands a gnarled old tree and it catches your eye because it seems to be gently swaying in the breeze… but there is no wind. It’s as still as a mausoleum at midnight. How odd you think… You feel goosebumps and a chill down your back. The tree seems to beckon you to come closer and as you take a few steps you hear the crunch of gravel under your feet. You look down but it’s not rocks… It appears to be the bones from birds and small animals. By the time you realize that the rattle of the tree limbs sounds oddly like a growl… It’s too late.
So… Jon messaged me right after I left my comment about the spooky tree and sent me a photo of his latest painting that wasn’t scheduled to be shown publicly until Monday, today (8/29/22). As you can see, it’s a haunted house with jagged teeth! A full moon shining down and another spooky tree leaning over the house. The viewer doesn’t know if the person in the doorway is opening to welcome you in or a scared visitor ready to meet his doom.
Jon was generous enough to offer me a print of it. We made plans to meet at his studio in Evansville, Indiana and swap art. Trading art is a fantastic way for me to collect the art of my friends!
Here’s the writing to go with “Haunted House”:
You heard stories of a haunted house in the woods. People avoided it or walked a little quicker past it. People heard strange noises coming from it sometimes….but it was just talk….or was it? The big old tree next to it seemed to be reaching out for it to swallow it up, and the house seemed to be leaning away from it. Sometimes on dark gloomy nights when the moon was covered by clouds, lights appeared in the windows or just gauzy shifting shapes. You always felt that you were being watched as goosebumps crawled up your skin and the hairs on your neck stood up. There were also the noises….creaking wood a muffled scream, a groaning almost a growl just on the edge of your hearing. You tell yourself its just the sounds of old wood settling or the wind blowing through the gaping holes. But there was always a strange pull on your mind a calling to step in, a crooked finger beckoning you to come.
Artist Spotlight – Jon Fuchs
By now, I knew I’d ask Jon to let me photograph his studio and write a piece about him and his art. He graciously agreed. I arrived at his house and was greeted by his happy dogs and his sweet wife, Mary. We sat out in the garden a bit as I flipped through a large binder filled with his beautiful watercolors, the weather was perfect.
We chatted about studios and mine being in my basement. Mary told me about Jon moving his studio from their basement into one of their daughters rooms upstairs, as she had flown the coop. It was perfectly lit and had a great view of the garden, a perk as far as I’m concerned.
Next photo… Jon looks proud, as he should be, showing me his latest creation, “Haunted House”. He was gathering a few prints to give me. I think I got the better end of the stick on this deal.
Jon’s studio is a classic studio, a little messy because it’s used often. Filled with paintings, artwork, thoughts, tools and inspiration it’s the perfect place for him to paint. I snapped a few photos of things in a hurry, not wanting to overstay my welcome.
A clock over his work table inspired by one of his favorite artists, Salvador Dali a surrealist who was known for his melting clocks.
Where the magic happens… the artist work table. Of course, all artists are interested in how other artists work.
Another interesting area holds some of Jon’s artwork framed and on his studio wall.
Below, Jon’s asking me if I recognized where this next painting was painted at. Of course I did, it was painted in Carol’s Garden, a memorial garden and Fountain of Life dedicated to the memory of Carol Owen Coleman, daughter of Kenneth Dale and Jane Blaffer Owen.
Another Side Note: Jane Blaffer Owen was married to a descendant of Robert Owen, the Welsh social reformer who founded a utopian community in New Harmony, Indiana. Mrs. Blaffer Owens was dedicated to preservation, and promotion of the town’s historical and educational attributes that became her 60-year legacy. I’m humbled and honored to say before her death, Mrs. Blaffer Owen bought a piece of art from me at an art show in New Harmony several years ago.
Jon titled it “Hosta Garden New Harmony”. We talked about how it doesn’t look like this anymore. The town decided to clear out most of the shade giving trees, sadly. It was a beautiful and shady area to retreat to from the sun before they removed the trees. It’s still very beautiful but very manicured, it seems to have lost its mystique along with the trees.
You can see the canopy of shade giving trees in Jon’s painting. The sun is dappled on the various hostas and greenery. I wonder what Mrs. Blaffer Owens would think about the garden now. She’s the one who designed it in the first place.
Question and Answer Section:
Isn’t Jon’s work great? I came up with a few questions for him to answer so you could hear a little from him.
Q: How long have you painted and who or what got you started?
Jon: “I started drawing at a very early age by my Mothers encouragement.”
Q: Do you have a favorite subject or genre to paint? If so, what is it?
Jon: “Landscapes.. birds, animals and still lifes are favorites of mine.”
Q: I know you have nice collection of other artists work. If you could have a piece of art from any artist dead or alive with money as no object, who would it be?
Jon: “Salvador Dali and Norman Rockwell are the 2 Artists I would love to have a piece of their work if money was no object.”
Q: Is there anything you’d like to share that people would find shocking, interesting or funny ? Or just anything else that you would like to share?
“Some people might be surprised that I have only 9 fingers …do to an accident with a bandsaw. So I can say I’m the best 9 fingered Artist in Southern Indiana.”
“You can be the BEST at anything if you QUALIFY IT ENOUGH…LOL”
Q: Where can people find more of your artwork?
So with that, I’m finished with the artist spotlight. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know a little about Jon Fuchs and his beautiful watercolors. If you’re interested in seeing more of his work, look him up on Facebook or see his work in Inmans Framing and Gallery in Evansville, Indiana.
Thanks Jon for playing along and for the wonderful prints!
Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page under the additional links menu. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts and have started created more and more of them. My most favorite thing to try to achieve in my painting is is mystery and telling mystical stories.
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