Thoughts from the Gallery Director
Recent Paintings is a body of work that is easy to talk about. It doesn’t take much to see what the artist is passionate about. Capturing atmosphere, sky, water and light with the use of paint and color is obvious. And yes, I am compelled to note that, as one would expect from any artist whose true pulse comes from painting, there are changes in the way he accomplishes and captures that which he sees.
In 2009, Wissler was awarded a painting fellowship through the Heliker – LaHotan Foundation, taking him to Great Cranberry Island, Maine. Whether it was seeing a landscape from the perspective of a more northern and oceanic environment, or the experience of the freedom and yet expectation of full time painting – that experience became a catalyst for his continued study of those subjects. I could go on and on about what I see as those changes. We could talk about some new colors I see or how even the preparation of those works on paper becomes part of the painting. As one viewer remarked: ”He has clearly – very sensibly – had a good look at Turner’s late watercolors and his extraordinary “sketchbooks”. (And if he has never seen them, he has somehow had the remarkable luck to be infested with a great swath of Turner’s genius – the lucky sausage !!)”
Wissler cannot, nor would he want to deny that he has indeed looked at Turner, and many others. But beyond looking, he has studied. And beyond studying, he has taken that which he learns and constantly builds upon it. Each composition is a tool. Each completed painting is a beginning for the next. With as much accessibility as we have these days to art, it is not easy to find an artist whose goal at the completion of a painting is not just a product, but to understand the artists and their paintings who have been AND to be a contribution to those artists who are yet to be. This selfless approach to painting as well as the talent that accompanies it assures Wissler of succeeding at both. When we look at his resume, his accomplishments outside of our region remind us of his talent and the rightful respect he receives among both academia and fellow painters. We are honored to represent his work and watch his role unfold in the history of painting. And a beautiful unfolding it is.
Joyce G. Heberlein
Recent Paintings by John David Wissler is up now through the end of October at Lancaster Galleries, 34 N. Water St.