John Paul Berry | Artist of the Week

John Paul Berry is an experienced painter from the United States whose works have been featured in solo and group shows nationally. Passionate about art ever since he was young, Berry explores themes of duality in his abstract works, creating a dialogue between the seen and the unseen. His paintings are characterized by patches of bright colors and spontaneous lines that emerge beneath layers of paint.

An Interview with John Paul Berry

Who are you and what do you do?

I am John Berry, I am a painter of abstract works.

Why do you do what you do?

It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, create.

How do you work?

I work on multiple canvases at a time, rotating them according to mood or progress.

What is your background?

I have always created art. I studied Illustration at BYU, graduating with a BFA in 1992. I started my freelance illustration career shortly before graduation and ran a successful career for over a decade. I worked for publications and companies around the globe.  In 1998 I began creating painting solely for my own enjoyment. I created both illustration work and fine art until around 2004 when I left the illustration world behind and focused all my attention on work for my galleries. 

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

Experimentation and exploration. I love trying new ways of working or different materials in my work. I want to be surprised each time I finish a piece.

What role does the artist have in society?

That’s not up to me. I paint for my own personal reasons and only hope that others will find what they need in my work. That it will bring them joy and pleasure.

Has your practice changed over time?

Immensely. I’ve covered the spectrum of subject matter and materials in my practice. I believe if you stop progressing as an artist, then you are dead.

What work do you most enjoy doing?

The current work I am doing.

What themes do you pursue?

Duality. We each seem to have many different sides to our beings. I like to explore that, to find out what makes us tick. When I say that, I’m always talking about myself. Though I’m sure my story is the same as many others out there, and that’s what draws people to my work. Perhaps they see themselves or their own stories in my work. 

What’s your favorite artwork?

The one I’m currently working on.

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you.

Those are too personal to share. Let it suffice to say that most people I come in contact with, including my wife and children end up becoming inspirations to my work.

What is an artistic outlook on life?

That everything connects us, all things have to be created. They all have a design, so why not make them as beautiful as they can be?

What’s your favorite or most inspirational place?

Anywhere I can sit quietly and think. Usually the wilderness.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

“By endurance, we conquer” Sir Ernest Shackleton

Professionally, what’s your goal?

Funny question! My goal is to paint till I’m dead. Seriously.

Lily Pad Gallery

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