This month, we spoke with American Contemporary Fine Artist, John C. Traynor of West Swanzey, NH. Please enjoy!
Please tell us the basics about yourself/your work an artist… when you started and why.
As a teenager, I started drawing and painting and tried to emulate the “old masters”. They painted landscapes, people and still life which keeps the subject matter continuously alive. Painting these three types of genre have been my way of preserving a genuine diversity to my works. In addition, I gravitated towards oil as a medium at an early age. My college friends anointed me with the nickname ‘Sketch’ because I was always carrying around a sketch pad and therefore drawing constantly. I always joke with people that I had to become an artist because I can’t do anything else.
Please explain your commitment to the arts in the Monadnock Region.
Being a local resident for over thirty years, I have supported the arts in the Monadnock Region through donating several dozen paintings to places such as MoCo Arts, Stonewall Farm, Cheshire Historical Society, Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce and the Monadnock Humane Society to help them keep the arts thriving. At least once a year, I invite the community to an Open Studio Show and display my current works. In addition, I have begun to teach again which gives local artists the opportunity to learn the skills that I learned from my teachers’ teachers with a direct lineage to the ‘old masters’.
Are you a collaborative artist? How so? How do you work with artists and arts related organizations?
My latest collaboration with artists and organizations consisted of joining the ‘Hight Street Painters’ from Brattleboro where a live model would pose for a portrait painting. Since its recent closing, others are popping up at other studios to keep the momentum going. I have also been participating in several live figure drawing sessions in the Keene and Walpole area. There seems to be this new surge of enthusiasm for bringing back the back to basics of drawing and painting. For several years, I served on the Board of ‘Grand Monadnock Arts Council' and vice president for the 'Keene Artist Association' where I helped run and participate in the outdoor Art in the Park. Several of my paintings have had a presence in the ArtWalk, downtown Keene since its inception. In addition, I have participated in the local Fall Foliage Art tours both in Swanzey and Dublin.
What is your vision for the arts in the Region and the surrounding regions? How will you work to make that happen?
My vision is to mentor younger artists and get them started in the business of art. I want to share with them that it is possible to ‘live by the brush’.
Anything else we should know, John?
I am a Copley Master in the Boston, Copley Society and a lifetime member at the Salmagundi Club in NYC where I was presented with the ‘Medal of Honor’.
The painting below by John is entitled "Fall Colors Monadnock", and is sized 16x20 and is oil on linen. It is available to be won in conjunction with the Historical Society of Cheshire County. It is currently on display there now, and is valued at $8,000. Raffle tickets are $20 each or 3 for $50. To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE or call the Society at (603) 352-1895.