The Artist's Canvas
Jonathon Earl Bowser
TWPT: Could you tell us a little about Jonathon Earl Bowser?
JEB: Well, I graduated from art school in 1984. Commercial art paid the bills for the first few years, but that really wasn't very satisfying. I signed with my first gallery in 1990, and fine art has been my only pursuit since then.
TWPT: You work with canvas and oils, but I also see some pastels and watercolors. Do you have a preferred medium? Have you ever worked with computer graphics for art design?
JEB: Different mediums have different advantages, but oil paint is certainly my favorite; no other medium is as versatile or durable. I have used my computer as a photocopier, but that's about the extent of my experience with computer graphics. I'm a traditionalist at heart.
TWPT: Have you ever done Gallery Showings? Has the Internet had any impact at all on your work in respect to more people seeing your work or opening your work to a new audience?
JEB: I have had many gallery showings, and like most things in life I suppose, this has both positive and negative aspects. Money and talent often divide like management and labor - with galleries taking the management role. Many artists chafe at such condescension. I have found the Internet liberating in this regard. My site went online in January 1996, and now my work has been seen by people all around the world. Few galleries could offer this kind of promotion, and I have complete authority over the way my work is presented.
TWPT: You describe your work as "Visual Meditations on The Goddess and The Divine Feminine - a quest for Transcendent Truth in Beauty". Your work is indeed very Goddess inspired, and you have beautifully shown a touch for a spiritual path here. Could you explain a little of your vision for us?
JEB: I see the cosmos as a single divine entity with 2 fundamental and distinct aspects. One is the violently dynamic domain of material nature - things we can touch in space and processes we can observe in time. The other is the eternally static domain of ethereal law - the predicate forms of existence that mediate the phenomena of space and time. These 2 aspects are interdependent halves of one whole: like Life - where the feminine and the masculine dimension are subsumed into a greater entity in which they are but parts - each aspect can only exist by virtue of, and in relation, to the other.
The first aspect is - like the universe itself - a "pushing out" force, an ever-evolving aspiration of something not yet realized. I call this force Lord Chaos. The second is a "pulling in" force, an infinite perfection beckoning Chaos into his 12 labors of transformation. I call this force of transcendent order the LotusMaiden of Eternity. She appears in my work as a guiding apparition, silently drawing all the manifold forms of the universe toward a single distant ambition at the end of space and time...
TWPT: I find the images of the Feminine form very exact in your work, but one of the things I also find fascinating is your landscapes, not just the separate ones, but the backgrounds for a lot of the Goddess material. You seem to have a talent for landscapes also. Are these also drawn from the same inspiration as the Goddess forms?
JEB: Yes, I also consider the landscapes to be inspired by this same philosophy. I prefer mountain landscapes, and traditionally, the world-mountain is the home of the Goddess. In a chaotic world of tumult, the world-mountain was seen as a place of eternal calm and serenity, the passive center around which the active cosmos revolves. And if one cannot see things clearly in a universe in perpetual motion, then to journey to the world-mountain is to seek a place where motion stops, clarity is found, and the eternal wisdom of the Goddess might be achieved.
TWPT: Some of your work has been reproduced for The Bradford Exchange, and for Eureka Publishing. Would you tell us a little about that?
JEB: Working for the Bradford Exchange presented new challenges; the requirements of an enormous multi-national corporation are in many ways inimical to the ethos of true art. Finding a balance between their needs and mine was more difficult than you might think. Working with Eureka has been a little easier. They still have an eye to the bottom line, but from the beginning of our association they expressed a sincere interest in my view of the world. Even when Eureka commissions a work to be published (as opposed to publishing an existing work), they are looking for my perspective and not theirs. My association with Eureka has been very rewarding.
TWPT: Do you have any new projects or works or special events coming up that you would like to tell us about?
JEB: I recently signed with the Simic-New Renaissance Gallery in Carmel, CA, so if anyone in the Bay area would like to see Jonathon originals, the helpful people at Simic would be delighted to show them. And I am nearing the completion of my book, "Mythic Naturalism - Meditations on Truth, Beauty, and the LotusMaiden of Eternity." This will be a collection of related essays and images about the Way of the Goddess. If anyone knows a good publisher...
TWPT: We thank Mr. Jonathon Bowser for his time and participation with TWPT. It is always a pleasure dealing with such wonderful and talented people.