Published: September 11, 2001
The Work of John Swatsley at the Gregory James Gallery
NEW MILFORD, CONN. Entitled “,” the show will consist of more than a dozen large new oils, as well as conte crayon and pencil drawings. All are offered for sale. Swatsley’s work is regularly featured at Christie’s of London in its annual Wildlife Art Auctions.
Says Greg Mullen, owner of the gallery, “John’s impressionistic and painterly brushstrokes vividly capture the animals’ stature and strength as only a talented few artists can. John knows his subjects well and brings a passion and admiration for them to every single piece. I’m delighted to be able to show his work here in New Milford to what I’m sure will be an enthusiastic audience.”
An opening reception to welcome the artist and preview the artwork will be held at the Gregory James Gallery on Saturday, October 13, from 4 to 7 p.m., and all are invited to attend.
The artist and his wife, Sonya, have made five different safaris to Africa over the last nine years, each one of approximately a month’s duration. During his trips, Swatsley uses as many as 60-70 rolls of film to capture the animals in their natural settings. He also does sketches and drawings while on location. For the last seven years Swatsley has focused his work primarily on African wildlife, though he also paints wildlife from many different parts of the globe. Wildlife has been a longstanding interest of his, dating back to high school. “I just really enjoy animals,” he says.
Trained at the Art Center College of Design in California in the late 1950s, Swatsley worked in watercolors for 30 years and is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society. He now works primarily in oils, with a goal, he says, “of making each painting a work of fine art with wildlife as its subject.”
He is a winner of the National Forest Service Centennial stamp design competition and has participated in numerous shows and competitions throughout his career, including “Birds in Art,”
Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum, Art and the Animal Kingdom, Bennington Center for the Arts, and Arts for the Parks, where he won the Medal of Merit in the bird category for two years in a row, in 1996 and in 1997. His work is represented in numerous private collections in the United States, Great Britain and South Africa.
The artist, a former resident of New Milford who now lives in Harwinton, Connecticut, says, “The sounds, the smells, even the tension in being close to an animal in the wild are nearly as important as the visual information obtained. If my work can transmit even a fraction of the thrill of seeing a leopard in the wild with no cages or bars, nothing but the sounds of the bush and the awe-inspiring cat, then the painting will attract and hold the viewer.”
The gallery is at 16 Bridge Street. For information, 860/354-3436
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm