When I first began to paint landscapes in college, European and American landscape painters heavily influenced me. I loved the immediate qualities of the Barbizon painters who, for the first time, took canvas and brush outdoors to confront nature directly. Later, the romantic qualities of Thomas Cole, his student Frederick Church, Thomas Moran and others inspired me to look for the heroic qualities in those things around me. In Florida, the expansive estuaries that line the gulf coast provided the basis for a lot of my paintings.
I approach paint from two levels. Intensive observation during the course of a painting "explains" a landscape in its physical terms. I begin to understand how things are "put together." This is almost always a discovery process as things are seldom as obvious as they appear to be. On a completely different level, I am reacting to color, edges, values, shapes and the painting surface to produce an emotional effect. This emotional process is hardly linear. I often begin with just a tentative idea which usually involves a great deal of working and reworking, always reacting to what is put down, until something begins to "click" for me. Results are unpredictable and often produce failure; but the resulting emotional edge that successful paintings have is what keeps me going. My paintings reveal as much about myself as the image portrayed.
“In 2010, John Stanford, a Florida native, retired to northern Georgia where he paints Southern landscapes ranging from the fishing camps of Louisiana to the barnyards of Georgia. United by their delicate representation of light, their soft, painterly brushstrokes, and traditional compositions, Stanford's oil paintings are impressive examples of contemporary painterliness.”
John Stanford earned his B.F.A. from Florida State University in 1972. He has exhibited widely, and his work is in numerous collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Central America.