John Copeland is a New York based artist who is well known for his large-scale, acrylic paintings and graphite works on paper which reflect “how we get along or don’t, social issues, conflict, and how we manage to keep going in this crazy place we live in." Images of undefined faces, skulls, television sets, cartoon characters, airplanes, and animals are repeatedly found in his work. I find many of his paintings to be at once both dark and whimsical. All his work demands closer inspection to see what in fact might be going on. He has exhibited internationally and currently is part of a group show in New York.
John also creates journals and this is the format that drew me to John and interests me the most. He told me that he started journaling in 1996 as a student of Barron Storey (whose own website is worth repeat visits) at California College of Arts and Crafts. John is now working on journal #27. He said that he has gained a lot of discipline and skill from working small scale in these books, with every page being finished. Over time, his journals have reflected his evolution as an artist. He told me that as he has recently been putting more emphasis on his larger works on canvas and paper, the pages in his journal have become less worked and fully painted. Sample pages from his journals can be found on John's website. I find his pages to be raw, exciting, unique, grungy, mysterious, and thought provoking. See for yourself: