01 October 2010
When I initially mulled writing about Justin Clayton, I was thinking of starting off with a declaration of Mr. Clayton being the Renoir of the current daily painting movement. This vague comparison was based on Mr. Clayton’s brushwork and edges. Then I remembered that I had kind of sworn off such inane comparisons (I am slapping my wrists as I type this. Promise!); an artist must stand on his or her own merits, unless they are intentionally copying a dead artist, which would make them not welcome here. • Upon reflection, even Mr. Clayton’s brushwork, edges, lighting, and palette are his own, not some dead Frenchman’s. He has ultimately proven that he is his own artist — and a strong representational artist at that. How do I know this? Well, he is one of the first daily painters I have tracked over a good stretch of time. (Disclaimer: Sorry, I cannot track everybody, my sanity being somewhat important to me.) Having the advantage of this longish observation, I can attest to his growth as a painter. The above mentioned brushwork and soft(ish) edges are elements he has consistently worked on and developed over time into his own, identifiable style. Mr. Clayton’s blog, “Paintings by Justin Clayton,” which he started in January 2006, allows us to witness this development. • Mr. Clayton paints in oils, and while he predominately paints representational still life, he also takes pleasant and “lucky-for-us” jaunts into LandscapeLand and FigurativeWorld. His more recent representations of water utilizing his painterly brushwork are particularly pleasing. Throughout this expansive oeuvre, his dreamy brushstrokes work in unison with his manipulation and application of soft lighting and his non-jarring, but deep, palette. • Don’t take my word for it, go check out Mr. Clayton’s work on his blog: www.dailypaintings.blogspot.com. Scan it and see what you think.