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Travels on Canvas

By Andrew Sullivan

“As a citizen of the world, I live and paint life as it surrounds me. Simply put, art for me is like making music on canvas.” —JW

Jonathon Williams, a 20-year traveler carrying little more than his palette, oil paints, and brushes, will have a retrospective exhibit at Magenta Gallery on Saturday, December 5, from 5 to 8pm.

Travels on Canvas
Sat, Dec 5, 5-8pm
Magenta Gallery
Zacateros 26

Williams defines the notion of the quintessential artist. He honed his aesthetic sense and free-spirited way of life living in a Parisian atelier, in an Italian village near Portofino, next to beaches on Bora Bora and the West Indies, and in Colombia, Costa Rica, England, and Ireland. On the road, the mélange of different cultures, flavors, landscapes, and sensations he experienced blended to create the essence of a man devoted to the artists’ way.

This exhibition spans more than 25 years and examines his evolution as an artist. The show will include works from different phases of his career, including “The Jazz Painter,” “The Travels,” “Portrait and Figure,” “Ink and Rubber Cement,” “San Miguel de Allende Scenes,” “Emotional Narratives,” and his current body of work, “Perceptions and Feelings.”

Williams has won many accolades, including the Winsor & Newton Award, judged by Richard Schmid. He has exhibited in galleries in Carmel and Beverly Hills, CA and in Paris, and had a two-man show with crooner Tony Bennett in San Francisco. In April Williams was a guest of honor at the Olmsted Plein Air Invitational in Atlanta, where collectors bought out his inventory, and he received two private commissions.

Before dedicating his life to adventuring and painting, Williams worked as a musician, documentary filmmaker, and advertising creative, where he won more than 30 Addy awards in the world’s largest advertising competition. He also has a BFA in painting and an MFA in drawing.

In the middle of his travels eight years ago, he stopped in San Miguel de Allende, where he once performed with his band more than 40 years ago. Captivated by the light and compositions of beauty throughout the region, he decided to settle here, where he now shares his love of painting through workshops and private classes, while continuing to evolve his personal drawing and painting. Williams credits his wife, Margo, for being one of his greatest inspirations.

Andrew Sullivan is a New York Times contributing photographer and close friend of Jonathon Williams. Sullivan will photograph the opening as part of a project documenting the lives of artists.


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