John Nelson Arbuckle – Artist Statement

Visual art has always been part of my life whether I was appreciating others work or creating my own. There is something within me that drives me to take paint, paper and recycled materials to create something new.  I am driven from within as if it is not a choice.  Luckily I love that about myself.  I love the satisfaction of ending up with a part of my imagination in a form that I can share with others but most of all something that develops out of my mind, hands, and heart for own appreciation and satisfaction.  My art is an extension of myself, an expression.

Inspiration can come from just about anywhere. I might be reading a book or looking through a magazine and all of a sudden an idea pops into my head driving me forward to my next piece of art.  I wake up in the morning and a thought that has been circling inside my head over night pushes me forward to create.  A song or a poem or a random overheard conversation may spark a lead into a new piece of art.  I haunt garage sales and flea markets for 2D treasures that will either promote a new art lead or enhance one that I am already working on.

Most of the time I do not I know where I am going with a collage or painting when I begin the process. I usually just start.  Blank white paper does not cause worry.  I always go with the first thought that comes into my head which may be to get a certain color or a texture down.  It is as if my art has a life of its own, it leads me.

My greatest happiness when creating comes from problem solving. I frequently work myself into a corner and have to figure out the next step.  There is always a solution.  That solution may take a bit of time to gel but it is always there somewhere.  That is why I work on three, four, or five pieces of art at a time.  I move back and forth between them as if doing a self-choreographed dance.  Leaving a piece for a while allows for new perspectives to surface. It is like seeing something with a new set of eyes.

I love trying new techniques. I thrive on pushing myself into directions that I have never been or using materials I have never used.  That is the challenge; that is the soul of my process.