Featured Artist Jonathan Keeton

Painter Jonathan Keeton shares an incredible portfolio of landscapes and nocturnal scenes that capture moments in time. Enjoy more of his artwork by visiting his website.


Watercolor painting of a river in a woods by Jonathan Keeton

“Cataract Creek 02″ Watercolor on Paper, 57″ x 37”


My work is a meditation on what I am seeing. On a strong impulse to honor the natural world, I need to make sure that everything is just so. I am drawn to landscapes and nocturnes, as I feel that at night our influence wanes and the natural beauty and mystery of things takes over again.


Oil painting of Diablo Canyon by Jonathan Keeton

“Late Afternoon – Diablo Canyon” Oil on Canvas, 72″ x 48″


We are more divorced from the natural world than at any time in our species’ history, and if the feeling that I have of awe comes through at all in my work, then I’m pretty happy.


Watercolor painting of Vermont Highway 100 by Jonathan Keeton

“Highway 100, Vermont” Watercolor on Paper, 30″ x 22″


I spent much of my adolescence taking and developing photographs, and picked it up again later when I realized that I wasn’t able to work en plein air for weeks at a time without the light changing. I am trying to paint a moment, and everything in the scene changes when the light changes. My paintings take a long time to create, and I want to capture a moment—as opposed to an average of what the scene looks like over several hours.


Acrylic painting of Aspen trees in the fall by Jonathan Keeton

“Fall Aspens” Acrylic on Board, 24″ x 18″


I take photographs while out on extended rambles, and decide later which images should remain as photographs and which might perhaps work as paintings.


Watercolor painting of Felton Empire Road at night by Jonathan Keeton

“Felton Empire Road” Watercolor on Paper, 41″ x 29″


I am attracted to landscapes that give me a certain feeling, and although I might not be able to describe or predict what I might find, there is a strong recognition when I see it in front of me.


Watercolor painting of the Boarding House in Madrid at night by Jonathan Keeton

“The Boarding House, Madrid” Watercolor on Paper, 54″ x 34″


There is almost a science fiction sense of newness in certain landscapes and night scenes for me, as if they are being seen with fresh eyes, or for the first time.


Acrylic painting of Laguna Pacific Avenue at night by Jonathan Keeton

“Laguna Pacific Avenue” Acrylic on Panel, 18″ x 12″


In my paintings, what I am most intrigued by is the sense of being in the landscape, as opposed to viewing it from a distance.


Acrylic painting of Highway One at Waddell Creek at night by Jonathan Keeton

“Highway One at Waddell Creek” Acrylic on Panel, 77″ x 36″


I have always liked the delicacy and perhaps the demanding nature of watercolor, although I’ve recently begin working in oils and acrylic as well and appreciate the forgiving nature of those media. I have come to have fewer prejudices against particular mediums, and ultimately see painting images as the goal.


Watercolor painting of a river in Medio by Jonathan Keeton

“Rio en Medio” Watercolor on Paper, 30″ x 22″


After working as a school teacher and an actor (and a waiter and picture framer), I stumbled into the beginning of computer graphics in California and ended up pursuing a career in visual effects for thirty years. It was nice to actually be paid to do something like art, and I felt a strong need to prove that I could succeed in the “real world.”


Acrylic painting of a wooded ravine by Jonathan Keeton

“Morning, Steep Ravine” Acrylic on Board, 18″ x 12″


I’m lucky to be able to return, many years later, to my first love, although I am keenly aware of where my art might be had I been working as a full-time artist all those years, and am mindfully anxious to make up for lost time now.


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