John Donnelly

About John

John is a professor of art and chair of the art and design department at Mount Vernon Nazarene University since 1989. His artwork is in numerous private and corporate collections. A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he currently lives in Mount Vernon, Ohio.
Investigating the process of my paintings and ink drawings is an unearthing and excavating of that which is not readily seen. Each surface is mined to reveal embedded striations and colors are exposed evoking a visual lapse of time. I strive to emphasize distance- physical distance, travel and place. It is in physical moving about, that the work reveals itself to me. Each piece speaks to the time in which it takes to arrive at a location, resolve a conflict, nurture a relationship. Once there, the experience is both expansive and intimate. The paintings and drawings don’t settle, consequently there is a descent into a more ambiguous space, which rests beneath the surface on several levels, where form is no longer clear yet not melted away either.
My process, is one of unearthing layers of experience and history by applying paint and scraping it off, destroying and restoring in the hope of gaining the resonance of a well-weathered wall. The drawings are more fluid and responsive to my hand and the medium itself- ink and shellac on Yupo paper. Within my practice there is a search for discovery, redemption, mystery and obscurity which defies a specificity, yet holds a presence within the work.