Jono Tew

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I came west to rural New Mexico several years ago and was immediately awestruck by my surroundings. Having grown up by the ocean I’d never experienced anything like it. I loved the movement in the environment: the contours of the land, the winding roads, the wind in the clouds and trees. Rural New Mexico has a pastoral solitude unique unto itself. The passage of time doesn’t seem to have the same hold out here. Vintage trucks pass newer models on dusty roads. A tractor sits in the shade of a tree next to an old horse-drawn plow. Nowhere else have I witnessed the same humbling vastness of space coupled with the tiny reminders of human existence. What was originally planned as a few months stay turned into a permanent move.  

After years of portraying this idyllic scenery however, I found myself becoming restless. While rural imagery had dominated my initial experience in the west, I had begun to expand the scope of my exploration. I wanted to be more experimental in my use of form, line and color in a way that I didn’t feel my current landscape style would allow. Changing an established style is not so easy to do, and it wasn’t until my studio burned down that I was truly able to make the break. I returned to a process I had been developing years earlier. A more abstracted style that combined aspects of my favorite movements in art: Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. The selected paintings on this site are the result of photographic excursions I’ve made to some of the great locations of the American West such as Yellowstone, Monument Valley, Arches National Park and Great Sand Dunes to name just a few. I hope you enjoy them.