About The Artist

June 2011, John finished a large pencil drawing entitled ‘Hayman,’ which incorporated the 2002 Hayman Wildfire smoke plume as he saw it from Denver, Colorado. The image he remembered most vividly was the view out his fourth-floor apartment window the second or third night of the fire. That evening he saw a boiling mass of smoke erupting out of the mountains to the southwest of town. It was back-lit by the sunset and resembled a volcanic explosion more than a thunderstorm.

 
He wanted to incorporate a feeling of scale and power into this piece, and to push his pin-point pencil drawing technique as far as he could. It was a legitimate feat of endurance that he chipped away at it, little by little, over nine years, in three towns, in two states.

 
While working on ‘Hayman’, he would occasionally steal parts of it with his digital camera to experimentally create Rorschach-like, or kaleidoscopic images in Photoshop by copying and mirroring them. After completing the piece, he remembered this process, expanded upon it, and found a whole new outlet for generating unique images.

 
The particular formula he follow is somewhat precise within each series, but the individual steps are more intuitive in nature. Once an image has reached a finished state, it is flattened, and constituent elements are thrown away, forcing himself to start fresh every time.

 
If John’s work embodies a single aesthetic, it is ‘elaboration on a theme.’ He could never have imagined at the time the diversity of images that would spring from that single view out his window all those years ago.
Visit John Kennell’s blog to keep updated on new pieces!

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