“The excitement of moving forward into the unknown is the driving force behind my work. Each painting begins differently and without a plan. Moving forward in an abstract style I focus on developing textures and colours using a variety of abrasive devices to manipulate acrylic gels and paints. Artifacts of this process eventually suggest an aspect of the body such as an eye or a finger. At this point, the style of the painting switches from abstract to figurative as a subject grows from this body part and is developed as fully as possible according to the rules it generates. For example, if the eye is facing left, the body grows behind it to the right. Once the figure has reached full expression, I try to destroy the painting. Using everything from power sanders to boiling water I try to remove the image and return the painting to it’s abstract origin so I can move forward in search of a new subject. Sometimes this process takes years, and occasionally the canvas falls apart before I can find an image that deserves to exist where so many before it have been dismantled.”
Jonathan graduated from the Humber College Industrial Design program in 2006 and is currently living in Ottawa. He works up to six months a year planting trees in Western Canada while dividing the rest of his time between painting and photography. Although the subjects of his paintings are unrelated to tree-planting, the broken surfaces that reveal them are developed through a process inspired by the devastation/regrowth cycle of the forestry industry.