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Selected images of past works and series

Scroll and click on images below for larger additional images and more information.

Below are examples of past work from 1977 to 1997 reflecting some of the directions and changes to my work over the years. For the sake of at least a little brevity I have included only a few images from each period or series.

Certain influences remain consistent: love of landscape, color, pattern, and contrast.

A note: some of the older photographic images of these works have suffered over the years and I have tried to compensate on the scans as best as possible with varied results. I have included them anyway to give some idea of my past influences and interests.

All images © John Davison 1977-1997

 

The artist circa 1960

1977-1980

Drawings, color pencil
4 images

1981-1982

Early watercolors
4 images

1983

"Site" series, color pencil
4 images

1983-1984

Watercolor landscapes
4 images

1983-1984

"Canyon Lines" series, watercolor
4 images

1984-1985

Forests and Stones series, watercolor
4 images

1984-1985

Dog series, watercolor
4 images

1987-1988

Landscapes, watercolor
4 images

1987-1988

Acrylic on paper
4 images

1990

Landscapes, acrylic
4 images

1991

"Broken Shell" series, watercolor
2 images

1993-1994

Landscapes, acrylic
4 images

1992- 1997

Landscapes, acrylic on canvas
3 images

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John Davison / Past Work 1977-1997

Drawings 1977-1981

 

In 1978 I moved from Southern California to Kauai, Hawaii. At the time I was making color pencil drawings on paper like these. I was attracted to exotic figures and locales, and borrowed images from magazines and old photographs.

On Kauai, images from my sketch books began to appear in my drawings, such as the banyan root patterns from Lawai Kai valley, or the rock outcrop on Nounou Mountain that reminded me of a gargoyle head.

 

 

Untitled color pencil, 16" x 22", 1977 © John Davison

Untitled color pencil, 12" x 17", 1978, private collection© John Davison

"Lawai Kai Dream," color pencil, 15" x 19",1980, private collection © John Davison

"Gargoyle," color pencil, 15" x 19", 1981, private collection © John Davison

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Watercolors 1981-1983

 

In the early eighties I began to work more in watercolor, focusing on the landscape and elements from my life on Kauai.

"To The Sea," at right, was the first piece of mine to be purchased by the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.

 

 

"To The Sea," watercolor, 10.5" x 13", 1981, collection HSFCA © John Davison

"Three Papayas," watercolor, 11" x 24", 1981,
private collection © John Davison

"Pakala," watercolor, 20" x 16", 1982,
private collection © John Davison

"Passing Rain," watercolor, 9" x 16", 1983,
private collection© John Davison

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Site Series 1982-1983

 

The "Site" pieces were a series of color pencil drawings and watercolors that documented various shoreline structures found along the east side of Kauai, from wartime concrete bunkers to more recent and temporary constructions.

 

 

"Site 2-D," color pencil, 22" x 18", 1983 © John Davison

"Site 2-C," color pencil, 18" x 22", 1983 © John Davison

"Site," color pencil, 18" x 22", 1983 © John Davison

"Structure," color pencil, 16" x 20", 1983© John Davison

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Watercolors 1983

 

Part of a series of landscape watercolors that were included in my first one-man show on Kauai, along with the Canyon Lines series next.

Landscape has become my primary focus, and watercolor would continue to be my main medium until the late eighties.

 

 

"Dark Ridge II," watercolor, 9" x 12", 1983, private collection © John Davison

"Big Horizon," watercolor, 20" x 24", 1983, private collection © John Davison

"Moon Sea Shadow," watercolor, 20" x 24", 1983 © John Davison

"Evening Rain," watercolor, 20" x 24", 1983, private collection© John Davison

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Canyon Lines Series 1983-1984

 

"Canyon Lines" was a series of watercolors inspired by the patterns and landforms of Waimea Canyon on Kauai.

 

 

 

"Canyon Lines #8," watercolor, 20" x 24", 1984, private collection © John Davison

"Canyon Lines #3," watercolor, 20" x 24", 1983 © John Davison

"Canyon Lines #11," watercolor, 20" x 24", 1984 © John Davison

"Canyon Lines #13," watercolor, 20" x 24", 1984, private collection© John Davison

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Forests and Stones 1984-1985

 

The view from my back window into a dense hau tangle, became "Forest/Light," (at right), the first in a series of watercolors based on the rhythms and patterns of island forests.

 

 

"Forest/Light," watercolor, 21" x 25", 1984, private collection© John Davison

"Silent Arrangement," watercolor, 22" x 30", 1984, private collection © John Davison

"Presence," watercolor, 22" x 30", 1985 © John Davison

"Existence," watercolor, 22" x 30", 1985, private collection© John Davison

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Dog series 1984-1985

 

The "Dog" series of watercolors were painted roughly concurrent with the Forest/Stone series. My dog appears in them.

 

"Dreamer," watercolor, 22" x 30", 1985, HSFCA collection © John Davison

"Castaway," watercolor, 22" x 30", 1985 © John Davison

"Runner," watercolor, 22" x 30", 1985 © John Davison

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Watercolors 1987-1988

 

I was painting fairly realistic (for me) watercolors at this time just prior to shifting to a new medium and a more abstract view of landscape.

 

 

"The Point," watercolor, 22" x 30", 1988, private collection© John Davison

"The Tall Coast," watercolor, 22" x 30", 1987, private collection© John Davison

"Sea Tree," watercolor, 22" x 30", 1987, private collection© John Davison

"The Pool," watercolor, 22" x 30", 1987, private collection© John Davison

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Acrylic on paper 1987-1988

 

These paintings are from a series of small acrylic works on paper that signaled, along with a new medium, a new direction toward a more abstracted view of landscape.

 

 

"Near Sunset," acrylic on paper, 11" x 15", 1988, private collection © John Davison

"Nightfall," acrylic on paper, 11" x 15", 1987, private collection © John Davison

"One Day's Walk," acrylic on paper, 11" x 15", 1988, private collection© John Davison

"From The Sky," acrylic on paper, 11" x 15", 1988, private collection © John Davison

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Acrylic on paper 1990

 

These five works, all from 1990, are representative of the direction my work took during the early nineties toward a more abstracted and stylized approach to the landscape of Kauai.

Occasionally travel and other influences found their way into my work. "The Messengers," below left, was inspired by trips to the southwest, and the native American pictographs found on remote canyon walls.

 

 

"Branching Rhythm," acrylic on paper, 22" x 30", 1990, private collection© John Davison

"The Messengers," acrylic on paper, 22" x 30", 1990 © John Davison

"Ridge and Clouds," acrylic on paper, 22" x 30", 1990, private collection© John Davison

"The Valley Light," acrylic on paper, 15" x 11", 1990, private collection© John Davison

"Evening Ridge," acrylic on paper, 22" x 30", 1990, HSFCA collection © John Davison

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Broken Shell series 1991

 

Though I was now mainly painting in acrylic, I still returned to watercolor occasionally for smaller works, and the "Broken Shell" pieces were definitely the smallest. These were actual size watercolor studies of broken shells, with most no larger than 3 inches.

 

 

 

"Shell Study (Broken Cowry)," watercolor, 3.5" x 2.5", 1991, private collection collection © John Davison

"Shell Study (Chambers)," watercolor, 2.5" x 2.5", 1991 © John Davison

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Acrylic paintings 1993-1994

I continued to work through the nineties primarily in acrylic on paper and canvas inspired as always by the natural surroundings of my island home.

 

 

"First Swell," acrylic on paper, 22" x 30", 1994, HSFCA collection © John Davison

"Surge," acrylic on paper, 11" x 15", 1993, private collection ©John Davison

"Canyon's End," acrylic on paper, 30" x 22", 1994, private collection © John Davison

"First Light," acrylic on paper, 30" x 22", 1994, private collection© John Davison

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Acrylic on canvas 1992-1997

 

By the mid-nineties I was doing do more and larger works on canvas. The ridges and rugged valleys of Na Pali coast became a prominent theme, as I continued to kayak and camp the coast several times every summer.

This ends the section on past work.

 

"Towards Kalalau," acrylic on canvas, 48" x 52", 1997, First Hawaiian Bank, Princeville collection © John Davison

 

"The Lost Valley," acrylic on linen, 38" x 38", 1994, private collection © John Davison

 

"Into a Dark Valley," acrylic on linen, 42" x 36", 1992, private collection © John Davison

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All images © John Davison 1977-1997