Jonathan is steady and extremely prolific as a painter. He creates paintings with vibrant washes of colours of varying density. Composed largely of vertical and horizontal sweeps worked and reworked across the canvas, his artworks develop gradually by building up layers of translucent marks. Over the past 5 years he has made immense progress, finding a very clear ‘voice’ in his work and a fluid confidence in steady production.
As part of the structure of his weekly studio practice, he intersperses painting with a separate drawing activity, either on paper or in his sketchbook. These compositions in pencil depict characters and lettering revealing Jonathan’s personality and humour, sometimes referring to specific people or favourite food and drink. When questioned about his drawings, Jon may point to a small abstract figure on a page in his sketch book and say your name, very softly.
Having found his personal direction and pattern of working, Jonathan’s confidence has grown. He makes regular trips ‘upstairs’ to show other members of staff and visitors to the building his work and progress and collects biscuits in the top pocket of his overalls as a gift to others in the studio.
Previously known as quiet and reserved he now reveals his wit and humour through gesturing, smiling and raising his eyebrows. Increasingly, he uses a word or a few words to communicate interest in his own and other’s artworks, such as commenting, “that’s a nice painting” about a fellow participant’s piece. He only speaks through a long cardboard tube, enjoying interactions where his sounds and words are easily amplified.
Jonathan’s sister, Penny says:
“He is so proud of his pictures, and beyond all expectations, [they] have been chosen for exhibition. . . and published . . . and sold, achievements that his family would never have expected”.