John Revill was born on a morning in March, 1954 in the Toronto area but has lived in the Okanagan since the age of five. As is the case with many artists, John began to display his talent while still in high school in art class. His preferred examples of works he liked to emulate came from the brushes of well known Surrealists of the day and even some Classical painters from centuries ago. During his late teens he decided on a career as a painter and has stayed on that path ever since.
While never studying in a formal school of art, John Revill has developed his talents through mentoring with other artists and through his own personal studies. Painters such as Alex Colville, Salvador Dali, Lawren Harris and many of the Old Masters have had an effect on his technique and compositional style, as have the art forms of Canada's West Coast Indigenous People.
Most of John Revill's work embraces the Okanagan landscape and he tries to find new ways to excite us about this simple but enigmatic subject. His unique interpretation of trees, rocks, hills and sky opens the mind to an unspoiled and robust view of nature, that can confound many who try to paint it. The Okanagan is a beautiful muse but itís shift towards the blue end of the spectrum leaves many with a wash of blue that bores not excites.John discovered early that the blues of the sky, the quiet colours of faraway hills lost in a blue inverted haze hovering above the beautiful blues of the lake soon bored viewers but with the addition of strong foreground colours and his own take on jagged and steep talus slopes and clay hills with unique trees shapes, the Okanagan grew before the viewers eyes into a wondrous surrealistic Revill landscape. But more than the inspiring and sometimes playful trees and stylized hillsides, it is the colours - melding and twisting with the forms, carrying the viewer's eyes and thoughts through the image - that sets John's work apart.
Colours that leap out from an image telling of the calm, or the storm of a sky, the serenity of a grass-covered hillside or the still icy freshness of a mountain lake in early winter. John is a very talented and practised colourist, he can tell in an instant, when looking at a painting, what colours were chosen to complement certain aspects in a painting and what colours were used to create each different hue. Itís almost as if the colour wheel is embedded into Johnís brain, heís never at a loss to deconstruct a painting by colour choice and build it back up again by shape and theme. Colours and structures that in many ways reflect John's own personality and character - at times in conflict with life around him but in time and tune with the cadence that sets his life apart.
The bizarre and imaginative become real in the recognizable works of Revill. The work isnít surrealism although it appears that way. What I do is believe in the supernatural and paint in the absolutes. The bizarre and imaginative aspects of my work are real, not necessarily everyday things that we see, but when they are put in juxtaposition against the mundane, they gain their surreal aspects.
Many times John is awakened by dreams so colourful and intense he canít get back to sleep until he sketches out the image. Many of his scenes, especially the figurative works come to him in dreams and he is moved to paint them.He generally gets everything he needs at this time from the idea, the layout, the colours, the meaning and then he paints the image to his level of competence and desire.The designs and colours seem to be some sort of message and sometimes the frightening realities of some of the paintings send horrific messages.
John continues his work at present in his home in the Okanagan Valley. He is constantly developing and challenging his technique and style to bring us fresh new works of art to interest and challenge us.
Head of the Valley 20 x 32 in. Oil on board
Winter Shapes 10 x 8 in. Oil on board
Eagles Above the Snake Line 40 x 30 in. Oil on board
Summer Gold 8 x 10 in. Oil on board
Aspen Sundown 7 x 5 in. Oil on board
Mountain Sunset 21 x 32 in. Oil on canvas
Okanagan Vista 8 x 10 in. Oil on board
Under the Waterfall There You Will Know #773 35 x 29 in. Oil on canvas