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Hilliard Museum

Each Moment

The value of focus and presence in artistic work

Published: May 31, 2019
Last Updated: August 30, 2019

Each Moment

John F. Simon Jr.

John F. Simon Jr., Each Moment, 2018. Gouache and pencil on board.

Every day for over twenty years, Louisiana-born visual artist John F. Simon Jr. has cleared his mind and simply started to draw, resulting in a series he calls Divination Drawings. While executing these drawings, he lets one mark quickly dictate the next, and each day a contemplative drawing cascades from his fingertips. Simon’s drawing practice satisfies his urge for immediacy in the studio and stands in contrast to other less intuitive techniques he uses, such as ones that require computer coding.

Simon’s meditative drawing practice allows his self to recede, quieting his inner critic and giving him perspective after the fact. He has noted that over time, day after day, certain images persist, and he explores those images in other, more involved works of art. He also makes notes in an attempt to uncover the work’s meaning. Using his Divination Drawings and corresponding notes as inspiration, Simon creates other works of art using a variety of means including software, CNC routers, paint, high-density urethane, electronics, and plastic laminate.

The artwork Each Moment embodies this process of discovery and interpretation. The individual components in the composition are striking, but they fit together as a whole only when one becomes aware of their inter-relationships. The earth and sky, line and color, these words and your experiences all create a metaphorical landscape of which the viewer is only one part. This focused, sustained looking has wide-reaching implications ranging from personal exploration to tackling complex societal problems in an appropriately empathic manner.

Paths and Loops: Automatic Drawings by John F. Simon Jr. will be on view at the Hilliard University Art Museum June 8 through November 16, 2019. Visit hilliardmuseum.org or call (337) 482-2278.