Inspired by the natural environment, John David Hawver's paintings and pastels are filled with incredible drama and color, great expanses of water,enormous skies, leggy mangroves, vast Everglades, lazy rivers and vistas abstracted into pure energies of light and color.

"Looking at a John Hawver painting is like being in a motion picture, crusing in 3-D down the overseas highway to the Florida Keys"

"But Hawver's strokes do more than capture a literal landscape. The magic of his paintings is their abstraction, how he creates the illusion of something known, familiar, yet delightfully, uniquely his own. He crafts a teeming bristling, kinetic world that is all at once form-filled and formless, concrete and abstract, pure energy and pure stillness. There is also a life-force, a power in his images that makes it seem as though the moments on canvas have personalities of their own, personalities captured at their most revealing: a storm surprised mid-bluster, a sunset caught disrobing, a cloudscape practicing a waltz."

Vicki Sanders and Barbara Young, "Sea Saw Scene", 1997

Inspired by the natural environment, JOHN DAVID HAWVER'S paintings and pastels are filled with incredible drama and color, great expanses of water, enormous skys, leggy mangroves, vast Evergades, lazy rivers and vistas abtsracted into pure energies of light and color.

"Looking at a John Hawver painting is like being in a motion picture, cruising in 3-D down the overseas highway to the Florida Keys."

"But Hawver's strokes do more than capture a literal landscape.  The magic of his paintings is their abstraction, how he creates the illusion of something known, familiar, yet delightfully, uniquely his own.  He crafts a teeming bristling, kinetic world that is at once form-filled and formless, concrete and abstact, pure energy and pure stillness.  There is also a life-force, a power in his images that makes it seem as though the moments on canvas have personalities of their own, personalities captured at their most revealing: a storm surprised mid-bluster, a sunset caught distrobing, a cloudscape practicing a waltz."
                                Vicki Sanders and Barbara Young , "SEA  * SAW * SCENE",   1997

Hawver's perspective is free of man-made objects and clutter.  He says that this is his "way of addressing modern life, urban sprawl and the depletion of natural resources.  I'm enjoying what's left of our environment, documenting its splendor, and", he says with a grin, "if you notice, I've eliminated over population. "

John Hawver is almost a Florida native.  He moved to Hollywood Florida at the age of 10 and grew up there.  He is a graduate of Miami Dade Community College, and the University of Florida, and he received his master's degree in fine arts from the University of Miami.  Mr. Hawver has taught at the University of Miami and at Miami-Dade Community College The New World School Of The Arts in Miami and Broward County Community College.

For years, he worked as a commercial artist, but along with traffic, he gave that up to live and work by the ocean in Islamorada, in the Florida Keys, and paint his personal poetic visions, of what he sees around him.  He also makes occasional forays throughout Florida and to other places, finding inspiration for new paintings in nature's design.

His work has been shown extensively in major museums and galleries throughout the South including The Museum of Art in Ft. Lauderdale, the Lowe Art Museum, the Museum of Florida  Art, in Deland, the Boca Raton Art Museum, The Cummer Museum, Jacksonville,  Ormand Beach Museum and Gardens, Salem College Art Center, N.C., Key West Museum of Art and History, Art and Cuture Center of Hollywood, Miami Dade College and the Ritter Gallery at Florida Atlantic University. 

In February 2009, his large 10 x 8' commission "Mangrove Canopy" was installed in Monroe County's new Murray E. Nelson Government  & Community Center in Key Largo. His work is included in many other public and corporate collections including, the Tassell Florida Keys Art Collection: Mariners Hospital, & The Roth Building in the Florida Keys, The Museum of Art in Ft. Lauderdale, the  Boca Museum, Monroe, Miami Dade, and Broward Counties'  Art in Public Places, The University of Miami, The University of Florida, Cleveland Clinic, Naples, Bessemer Trust, Miami, McGraw Hill, Columbus, RCA (BMI recording) Nashville, Southern Progress Inc. in Birmingham, Tropicana, Barnett Bank, Barclays Interpayment Bank in Florida,  and Morada Bay Inc. in Islamorada. 

Hawver's paintings and drawings can also be found in private collections throughout the US and Europe. He is particularly pleased to be extensively  included in the collection of Jon and Julie Landau in Islamorada.

After 11 years, John recently closed the John David Hawver Gallery, at the Rain Barrel in Islamorada, in the Florida Keys, to have more time working in his studio. His work can still be seen at his studio, by appointment,  at the Rain Barrel / Out on a Whim Gallery,  and at the John David Hawver Gallery II, at Spanish Gardens Cafe & Gallery.

Still accessible to those who love his work, ( from special little intimate pieces of six  inches or  less,  to large scale vistas of six  feet or more), are paintings, pastels and a large selection of  signed, limited edition prints, even note cards of his images.    "It's rewarding meeting people and actually seeing their reaction to my work."

 

    

Light, color, form, composition.
These are some of the formal elements we use to make and discuss art.
Beyond these important elements, a painting needs life. It needs a soul.

The music rises, a storm sweeps overhead.
The sky becomes electric. The heavens open...a spark! a crack! a boom!
Lightning shoots across the room. The canvas quivers, twitches. There is life!

No! No wait...nothing, it's not happening. The music dies.
The artist quickly makes some adjustments, reworking the canvas.
The lights dim, the music pulses. A flash splits the sky.
Crack! kA-boom! kA-POW! a blinding light fills the room, sparks fly. Snap! Sizzle! Pop!

Then quiet. A very long pause. Darkness.
The smoke starts to clear. A glow, this time from within the canvas.
The underpainting shimmers. The glazes come alive. It lives!
The artist stands in quiet and humble amazement, not quite sure how it actually happened.
He is eclipsed, consumed by what he's done.
The music softly fades away.

That's how a painting happens. Everytime!
Well, almost everytime, on the good nights at least.
O.K., occasionally this happens. You can't rush it. It's spiritual.
It's independent. It comes and goes as it chooses.

So, the artist goes to his studio and does his work every day anyway,
knowing - hoping- that inspiration will visit again.
It can't come if he's not there painting. So he paints and paints and paints,
the faithful lover awaiting his fickle, often tardy Muse.
To me, these paintings are living things - captured, embraced, adored, surrendered.
They grow and change and have the power to sometimes inspire.

I ask you to spend a little time with them, to search for the life force that brought them here.
Go ahead. Get close. Listen. Smell. Think. Feel. Engage them. Really look at them.

Don't hate them because they're beautiful.
Don't dismiss them as mere landscapes because they remind you
of someplace you've been, something you've seen.

Yes, they possess these qualities, but they are so much more.
The paintings are visual make-believes of light, color, objects, and vistas,
pure fabrications that may seem to be one thing but are actually another.

They are energy in the abstract,
the here's how-it-felt-to-me pure energy of wind and sea and sky and sunlight
colliding in their ceaseless, wondrous trek across the universe.

Photo credit: Marcia Kreitman

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John David Hawver Studio
by appointment only
phone and fax: 305-853-1748
Celll: 305-299-3126
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At the Rain Barrel
Out On A Whim Gallery
86700 Overseas Hwy
Islanormada, Fl . 33036
305-852-7676

Spanish Gardens Cafe and Gallery
80925 Overseas Hwy
Islamorada, Fl. 33036
305-664-3999

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