Jon Shaw, Drawing and Painting

#202-1000 Parker St (D3)

What’s your medium of choice and why?

I work with permanent ink and acrylic paint, blended together in many layers. After a lot of experimentation I found that this combination works best with what I am producing artistically, and allows for the best layering process. The acrylics can be thinned to various levels of translucency, showing the ink drawing beneath it, and I can also draw on top of those layers with more ink later. 

Where do you find your inspiration?

The city is a constant source of inspiration. I'm always taking alternate routes down back alleys and industrial areas, looking for unique and interesting nooks and crannies in areas that are often left unseen. That imagery becomes the highlight of my work. It is amazing how a storefront on a regular street can be so commonplace and bland, but if you take a walk in the alley behind it, it could be incredibly cluttered, weathered and textured - therefore the excitement of going in search of these amazing visuals is half the fun, the exploration, and the surprise of finding something incredible.

Describe your studio space a little. Is it minimal and contained, or more sprawling?

I work in waves, sometimes things are strewn about and all over, panels on the walls and floor etc, and other times I like to start with a clean slate first. I think this changing state of the studio's cleanliness reflects how my creative thought process operates - totally undulating and never consistent.

What's your favourite new creation at the Crawl?

I'm just finishing my biggest piece yet, a 5' x 10' diptych depicting a decommissioned sugarcane factory in Kahalui, Maui. It will be the centrepiece on my main studio wall in 1000 Parker (studio 202). When I was art-travelling around Hawaii in March, I was on my way to go turtle snorkelling and this incredible, massive factory structure rose up in the distance and I knew immediately it was going to be a painting. I got so excited and one of my hostel-mates came with me days later to drive around the property and document it. This piece is the first in an upcoming series of the same subject matter. 

When's your favourite time to create?

I tend to follow the schedule of the sun. I'm a sucker for the beach and sunsets, and typically head to the waterfront every day. I have a hard time painting inside when it's sunny and nice out, but I will if I HAVE to. Otherwise, I tend to paint when it gets dark. There are less natural distractions that way. I love painting but I also love the natural beauty of beach, forest, sunsets, etc. I do my best to balance them this way.