Doreen St.John’s paintings demonstrate her love of the natural environment. “I’m inspired by the way light and color influence what we see and feel…not only in the landscape, but also in the human form. My work is really about Relationship in the deepest sense of the word – relationships between shapes, light/shadow, and between the viewer and the artist, scene, or subject. My hope is that my work engages, evoking an emotional response or memory in the viewer, allowing my feelings to come through in the work.” Li Po, an 8th Century Chinese Philosopher, said it best:
“I would not paint a face, a rock, nor brooks, nor trees,
Mere semblances of things…but something more than these.
That art is best which to the soul’s range gives no bound.
Something besides the form, Something beyond the sound.”
Born and raised in the art center and resort town of Saugatuck, Michigan, Doreen St.John exhibited artistic ability even as a small child, receiving art instruction from Cora Bliss Taylor, a graduate of the Chicago Art Institute and a well-known local artist. Although St.John pursued undergrad and graduate degrees in education, the need to create was always a driving force. She took her first watercolor classes at the Canton Art Museum in 1980 and later studied under watercolorist Bette G. Elliott of North Canton, Ohio, for 5 years. She has taken workshops with nationally recognized artists including Edgar Whitney, Frank Webb, Neil Patterson, Alan Wylie, Frederick Graff, Marilyn Hughey Phillis, Stan Miller, Marc Hanson, David Jon Kassan, Joshua Been, and others.
St.John has gained national recognition in major juried competitive exhibitions and has been awarded Signature status with the Oil Painters of America, the Pastel Society of America, and the American Impressionist Society.