Prior to completing “Sweet Love,”, John-Mark was commissioned to do a 24” x 24” painting of Prince book spines. He enjoyed doing the Prince piece and liked working in a square format. After working almost exclusively in a 24” x 48” format for 12 years, he wanted to do a square piece to add to his program.
Travel is a subject that John-Mark has been asked about by collectors over the years and is something John-Mark has always enjoyed. In fact, the reason John-Mark relocated from Delaware to the Shenandoah Valley was that his family would frequently vacation there and he came to love the area as a result. Mark Twain wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
Among John-Mark’s favorite destinations have been the Bahamas, Hawaii, Jackson Hole, London and Bermuda. People are the same everywhere but cultures vary greatly and a different viewpoint refines one’s own. John-Mark took a look at the most popular global destinations and chose an image for each book to represent some of them.
The thin books and small landscapes were a challenge. To increase the painting’s impact, John-Mark decided a globe in the foreground would be the perfect addition to the composition. While he was at it, he also felt depicting the bookcase itself would further increase the 3-dimensionality of the piece. The result is a painting that is not only inspirational but aspirational – one that results in the viewer revisiting memories of previous travels and determining to make new memories in the future.
This work of art features book binding artwork of
- New York City
- St. Lucia
- Costa Rica
Born in 1976, John-Mark Gleadow had already achieved gallery representation by the time he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Delaware in 1999. Renowned for his skill as a draftsman and ability for creating hyper realistic oil paintings, he has gone on to garner various awards, solo shows and grants and has been met with commercial success in the numerous galleries carrying his work from coast to coast in the United States and beyond.
Early influences on the young artist were Rene Magritte, Salvador Dali and VerMeer. “I fell in love with the beauty of their imagery and have always been in awe of their amazing gift for depicting reality, or their version of it. My desire is that my abilities would be used for creating works that are beautiful and that, when viewed as a whole, convince the viewer not only that what they’re seeing is real but that there’s truth in it. For that reason I find strict photorealism a somewhat unsatisfying undertaking.”
Beginning with still lives, John-Mark’s paintings soon came to have portraiture as their backbone. With his mastery of the medium his trademark use of vibrant colors has come to the fore – an element of his work made the more fascinating due to his having to cope with his own colorblindness. His most recent series has fused the centuries old theme of painting book spines with his love of doing figurative work and has allowed him to broaden the thematic horizons of his paintings. “The wonderful thing about working in this vain is how limitless the subject matter can be and how it makes for a logical way of juxtaposing entirely different topics, producing a work of art that’s beautiful as a whole, not just aesthetically, but thematically as well.”