Created in a diverse range of wet and dry media, Jon Sours’s figurative art subjects have a freshness that sets them apart from their abstract surroundings.
Working out of Asheville, North Carolina, artist Jon Sours is constantly challenging himself to get better at painting, and the hard work is paying off in some of his most recent work. For Sours, his process begins with a photographic reference, when a particular detail or expression captures his attention. “Everything else happens as a result of this process,” Sours avers, “with all of the decisions and mistakes piled up around it.”
This process comes to the fore in works such as “Portal,” a magnetic image dominated by pink, red, and brown hues. At center-left, we find the reclined bust of a red-haired female figure, her outlines still visible from Sours’ initial sketch. Although the figure’s features have been reduced to their essentials, Sours has still managed to capture her individuality, the subtle nuances of her visage and expression. The figure’s torso flows smoothly into a cloud-like haze of pink, while above one finds a mysterious dark void, which is rigid and geometric. The apparent narrative within the painting is open to interpretation, a tantalizing proposition. “A successful painting means something different to everyone that sees it,” Sours says.
Of “Portal” the artist writes, “I occasionally stain the canvas with a very thinned-out wash of paint, and build lights and darks on top of this ground layer. In the case of this canvas, I went extreme with the stain. I liked the surface quality and decided to set it aside until I had a clearer idea of what the painting would be. You can see that there is actually very little paint, and what is there is very thin. There was not a lot of fussing around, I think all of the decisions I made were kept without any second guessing.”
Another attractive image is “Anchor,” which is delightful in its softness and seemingly delicate approach. A quiet and calm female rests her head on a pillow, which takes nearly half of the canvas. Sours has beautifully blended her blushed cheeks and accurately captured her sensitive expression. Chiefly notable are the sitter’s sharp green eyes, which lock up the viewers’ attention for an extended moment.
Additional Mixed Media Figurative Art Works:
Sours is represented by Blue Spiral 1 gallery in Asheville, NC. To contact the artist, visit Jon Sours.
This article was originally written by Andrew Webster in 2017 for Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.