There are a number of ideas that come together in the series of drawings I refer to as “mystery gardens.” Most obviously, they are explorations in texture, shape, and scale of invented tree-, shrub-, and groundcover-like forms. While some drawings stop at this point, I feel prompted to suggest a narrative in the progression of the series. It seems correct to begin to include architectural objects, statues, sculptures, and lamps with unidentifiable light sources.
Further, the appearance of faces in the forms is a deliberate choice on my part to break a long-held rule of keeping my drawings free of such Disney-like corn. This choice has freed me to allow natural forms to be humanly expressive and to begin to insert odd fairy tale-like characters on occasion. I think this series could be described as illustrations for fairy tales yet to be written (not by me!).
John has an MFA in Sculpture/Painting from UC Berkeley (1990) and a BA, Practice of Art, also from UC Berkeley (1986). He has been drawing for years and teaching art and art history in California’s Gold Country since 1995. More drawings and examples of his book sculptures can be seen on his website.