About My Southwestern Art:
Howdy, I'm John Watt. Welcome to my gallery of southwestern art and paintings.
My father, artist, actor, and author, Malcolm Sparky Watt, had an enormous influence on my decision to pursue art as a career. It was his passing that inspired me more than anything to start painting. My family and I currently offer property management in the DFW area as well.
Beginning when I was very young, I wanted to be an artist, to paint the southwest with my father, to go on his trips to the Indian reservations, and experience The West as he did. According to him, when I was only four or five years old, I would frequently brag that when I grew up, I was going to be a great Southwestern artist, just like him!
He did his best to make it happen. In 1965 he took us on an extensive trip to the Indian Country, including Canyon De Chelly, Monument Valley, and the ruins at Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, Keet Seel, Montezuma's Castle and Tonto. It had a profound impact on me, but it would be another forty years before I was ready to paint about it.
After graduating from high school in Tucson, I postponed college and became a certified welder so that I could experience adventure on the Alaskan pipeline. I have yet to make it to Alaska, but along the way, I've had a lot of adventure on a very long and circuitous route!
One eight year stop on that route, was New Orleans, where for almost five years, I apprenticed with kinetic sculptor Lin Emery. That afforded me the amazing opportunity to meet and be influenced by some of the greats of contemporary art, including Tony Smith, Isamu Naguchi, Henri Moore, Kenneth Snelson, Arthur Silverman, George Rickey and Arnaldo Pomodoro. Unfortunately, it didn't afford much else, so I decided to go into the senior reverse mortgage business to finance my own studio.
That took me to Little Rock, AR, New York, Washington D.C., Europe, the Caribbean, and twelve years later, back to Tucson, ready to give my passion the attention it deserved. Given my background, my artistic leanings at the time were more three-dimensional so I designed and produced a line of jewelry called Shards . Those expressions evolved and from 1998 till 2002, I worked full time as a steel sculptor creating Glyphs .
Between Shards, some basic granite + quartz countertops I did in Dallas, and Glyphs, I earned my degree in advertising art and graphic design. I also thought I would like to try my hand at fine art painting, so I asked my father how to do it. He responded by telling me to... just get a brush, starting painting, and do like this (brushing)...its magic! Two years later, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and his answer made sense.
Fine southwestern art painting is creating an illusion, not just of three dimensions, on a two dimensional surface, but of an emotional experience that will resonate with the audience.
Following my fathers release from the disease in 2002, I found among his supplies six prepared canvases that he had done rudimentary drawings on, but never painted. I was saddened that he had not finished what I believed would have been very nice paintings. Later, as we continued to sort through his estate, I went through his slide catalogs, and discovered the references for the unfinished canvases.
With my mother's encouragement, I decided to learn the rules, methods, techniques and secrets of southwestern painting, to pick up where my father left off. In addition to the six canvases that he prepared, I currently have plans for 55 other paintings from his documentation of the southwestern Indian Country in the 1950s and 60s. Much like playing a great piece of music, these art paintings are my performance of magic , passed on from father to son.
Thanks for visiting,