Featured Artist: Jose L. De Juan

Jose is an avid plein air painter, currently living in London and working at a film studio. He will endure the unpredictable English weather and head outside rain or shine, mostly rain, any day he can. He is fascinated by the urban landscape, not just the famous landmarks but the gritty heart and crowded arteries of the capital.

Since most of his art training happened in Los Angeles, California, a land of colorists and painters unafraid of light and sharp contrasts, he brought with him a vibrant palette to the subtle hues of London. After all, he trained under California artists Ray Roberts, Jennifer McChristian and others known for their daring use of color and light. However, upon arrival, he slowly started replacing some of the warmer colors for cooler hues but his energetic brush stroke and love for loose handling remained as did his preference for unassuming subjects brought to a new level of discovery.

Unlike angelenos, londoners have a certain justified conceit about their surroundings but they are still surprised to see it painted in a traditional way. For most of them the art of painting figuratively ended with Turner. After a quick internet search he eventually joined a group of painters called the Brass Monkeys. They go out to paint often and are a very independent-minded loose body of enthusiasts, some quite accomplished like painter Rob Adams and illustrator Pauline Hazelwood. As he did in Los Angeles, he wants to show people their surroundings in a new light, make them take a second look and fall in love with what they see.

Jose uses a small format so he can develop a picture in one or two sessions before the light changes and here it changes on a dime. At the present moment he is scouting for galleries in London and researching studio space in this very expensive city.

More information about Jose can be found at www.josedejuan.com.

Paintings by Jose De Juan:

"Hammersmith in the Rain"
8" x 10" oil on canvas
2015, London

"Eliot Vale"
10" x 8" oil on canvas
2014, London

This image of the Hammersmith area of London was painted at an abandoned bus stop. It was the only refuge I could find against the rain. Some people demand sun to paint but the fact is that rain renders almost any urban area a delight of reflections and luminous greys, not to mention the glow of headlights and traffic allows for unfettered use of high contrast and pure reds. Plus oil doesn't mix with water.
Eliot Vale Rd is in the elegant area of Blackheath in South London. The December sun was weak and I almost froze to bits but I had to capture the glow of the moss under the warm light of winter. The tree afforded the main subject and structured the composition around its twists and turns.


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