John Bayalis has been the recipient of numerous
awards throughout the United States and has painted
abroad in Ireland, England and France.
Noted for his distinct, realist style, the artist’s skill at
handling contemporary themes and subject matter
has earned him acclaim from art critics and collectors
throughout the United States. John’s vibrant
watercolors reflect a specific clarity of light and form,
while dealing with unique viewpoints in portraying
popular culture and the vernacular landscape.
The artist has also embraced still life as a format, and
sought to show a personal vision in both content and
composition. Intricate set ups include man-made and
natural elements as well as printed backdrops,
vintage postcards and periodicals. The carefully
selected viewpoints depict compositions meticulously
rendered on the watercolor paper, that glow in subtly
balanced color palettes.
Among his honors are an award of an individual artist’s
fellowship grant and the selection for The Watercolor Page
in AMERICAN ARTIST  magazine where one of his works
graced the cover.
The artist’s works are included in private and corporate
collections throughout the United States.
My interest in painting has always been in realism. The world around me has provided an
infinite variety of colors, forms and textures that I have used for the sources of my work
for the past 35 years. I have always had a preference for drawing rather than painting in
terms of control and the use of line and detail. Watercolor has provided me with a medium
that produces a transition from drawing into using color in painting. Regardless of the
hyper realistic quality of the painting, the watercolor paper surface maintains the painterly
quality of the medium. I believe in a traditional approach to the medium, using transparent
colors and use the white ground of the paper for highlights and to produces luminous
colors. This pigment interaction creates hues that give a lifelike quality to the painting.
From the initial viewing distance the painting may look smooth and sharp focused, but
upon a closer inspection of the surface the viewer can appreciate the brushed paint
application and the artistic decisions I have made.
I have explored a variety of subject sources in my career, some more traditional, others
less so. The current body of work is derived from my interest in visual Americana, that is
images that I feel are specific to our culture. I have chosen both still life and landscape
imagery to interpret this vision, focusing on the vernacular that is the functional rather
than the monumental. An interest is in the commonplace has always been an important
element in my work. These landscape works reflect some nostalgic elements as well as
views derived from everyday sights and reflect my view of the present. I like using a
panoramic view of these places to give the viewer the ability to move visually throughout
the space. The still life works are composed to bring the viewer actively into the work.
The compositions are informal and are arranged to give the viewer the sensation that
they have just interrupted something that has happened or is about to happen in. The
idea of human presence nearby the scene introduces narrative elements into the work. I
hope to draw the viewer in and become a participant and thereby more visually involved.
I like to vary the scale of my paintings and sometimes work on an elephant size 30" x 40"
size Arches 5551b rag watercolor paper as well as standard size 30"x 22" 3001b sheets
and 22"x 15" half sheets. I prefer a smooth hot pressed paper to work on to give me more
latitude with details and hard crisp edges. I work in a smaller format on occasion
depending on the subject and composition.