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Biography of Jon Bandish

My name is Jon Bandish and I am the Jimmy Buffett of Painting.  I am an oil painter based out of Bethany Beach Delaware.  I’m from Philadelphia PA and went to undergraduate school at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art where I majored in Painting and Drawing.  My focus was mainly on the figure while at Tyler and a big part of that stemmed from my time at Temple Rome.  Living and traveling throughout Europe I got to see the old master’s works in person and that was life changing for me.  It was there that I began to gain an interest in the older aspects of art and art making.  Over the years after graduating from Tyler and for a short time trying to pursue graduate studies, I became more enamored with other older aspects of art and art making, this time closer to home.  While volunteering at Woodmere Art Museum in the Chestnut Hill part of Philly I got exposed to the works of Pennsylvania Impressionists and The Hudson River School artists.  Seeing and studying those works put me onto a path of realizing a lifelong love and respect for Nature.  I’m constantly amazed and inspired by Nature.  It is beautiful and powerful as well as awe-inspiring and even scary.  A big part of that love of Nature is tied to the ocean.  For as long as I can remember summertime at the beach has been more than just a fun vacation.  The sights and smells and sounds all mix together like instruments in band.  The sound of a steel drum in a Jimmy Buffett song puts me into a joyful state of mind as much as the smell of the salty air or the view of the sun rising over the Atlantic.  

This is where I start from with my art.  In a way my intent is to paint the total experience of a moment.  I get to live in that moment throughout the process of making the painting.  That process is a combination of ideas and techniques that come from the admiration and appreciation of those older artists.  I firmly believe in the drawing being the foundation of the painting and working through compositional ideas in the drawing before any painting is done. After transferring the drawing, I start with an underpainting, working out basic lights and shadows.  I slowly work in my interpretation of local color and eventual details.  I am crazy about the details because Nature offers us so many amazing, tiny moments that it’s a crime to omit them.  I’ve taken to heart an old phrase that I think bears worth noting because it’s true; the money is in the details.  For a more traditionally focused visual artist I think those details make the painting come alive.  Take for example all of the minutiae of water droplets in a crashing wave.  Painstakingly painting in each one has a powerful effect on the image and the viewer.  Although a large part of my process is very traditional based there is an exception and that’s my color pallet.  I like to use a high key pallet that although it is based on true local color it’s more about my feelings of what I’m painting.   I can’t say that I cognitively set out to use more prismatic colors I just always have.  I guess it’s the Jimmy Buffett in me that comes out.  

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