Nov. 22, 2003 – "Romantic," "neo-Victorian," "representational impressionistic" — these are adjectives that art authorities have used in describing the paintings of John Holub, who has a show of new works opening Friday at Wicker Wood & Shells in Mongoose Junction on St. John.
The artist, who lives in Maine and travels extensively in New England, the Caribbean and elsewhere to paint on location, will be on hand to discuss his work at the opening champagne and wine reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday.
The opening will take place in the ambience of Mongoose Junction's annual Evening in the Courtyard festivities to mark the start of the yearend holidays shopping season.
Born on Long Island in New York, Holub was interested in painting and drawing from childhood. After a tour in the Air Force and a move to Maine, he decided to pursue his muse in earnest, beginning with pen-and-ink renderings. He used his artwork to illustrate stories and articles he wrote about Maine's woods and waters and illustrated a book.
Self-taught for the most part, he attended several workshops when he started painting in watercolor. He later moved on to gouache and then to oils, his favored medium today. Early on, he exhibited his drawings and watercolors in outdoor art shows, sometimes also working as a quick-sketch portrait artist. For a time he co-owned an art gallery.
Today, he has a studio in Winthrop, Maine, and travels throughout the year to paint on location. Such excursions have taken him to the Italy's Tuscany region, Monhegan Island off the Maine coast, and, on several occasions, to the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.
Holub's paintings, distinguished by their varied brush stokes and rich color, appeal to those who appreciate the tradition of plein-air painting.
"I will use either oil, watercolor, gouache or pencil, as long as I record what excited me about the scene," he says. "I like to focus on surprises, the unexpected, and an object of beauty that has been overlooked. Sometimes it's commonplace, sometimes the unusual."
The World Wide Arts Resources Web site describes him as "a very popular regional artist" whose oil paintings "capture not only the physical characteristics of the subject matter, but the feeling of the moment represented in the painting. His use of color gives his paintings a special quality. The paintings seem to emit light, or glow. The colors appear to change with the level of light in the viewing area."
Holub has won numerous awards and his work appears in private and corporate collections in the United States and abroad. He is represented at galleries in Hallowell and Kennebunkport, Maine; Savannah, Georgia; Williamsburg, Virginia; Wellesley, Massachusetts; Dallas, Texas; and, of course at Wicker Wood & Shells on St. John.
To see more of his Caribbean images in oil, visit the Wicker Wood & Shells Web site.
Wicker Wood and Shells has four more openings and showings of new works on tap this season, featuring Patty Tacquard on Dec. 5, Carolyn Caldwell on Jan. 5, Antoine Chapon on Feb. 20, and Holub again on April 8-9. To learn more, call the galley at 776-6909.
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