Despite painting from intuition, certain themes become reoccurring motifs in Jon Doran’s work. Ultimately the exploration of the language of painting is the key area of interest however his body of paintings can be categorised into the following three projects that continue to resonate with the artist.
Figures in Landscape
Initially inspired by the works of romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich, Jon Doran regularly explores the subject of figures occupying the landscape. The subject provides for the artist both a philosophically relevant proposition as well as aesthetically challenging subject to work and grapple with. Locations vary from deep woodland scenes to Cornish beaches to the moorlands of The Peak District, however it is more the emotional climate that the landscape creates that is the main point of interest for the artist, rather than it’s particular geographic location. Despite some of his paintings not depicting a human presence, Doran feels that they are always in relation to the figure and when the figure isn’t present visually in the picture, the viewer assumes that place.
the quiet lives
The quiet lives is a body of paintings that focuses on still life subjects, such as floral arrangements, inanimate objects such as cups and bowls, and fruit and vegetables. The artist believes that there is a reason why painters have been interested in such subjects for 100’s of years, namely they provide ample opportunity to explore the language of painting, the shifts in tone, the relationships of colour and shape. However it is his ambition to explore this archetypal subject with a fresh approach and make paintings that sit appropriately in a contemporary 21st century context. One might refer to this as a post-contemporary approach to painting, one that attempts to harness the useful techniques and elements of the past, yet pushes forwards on to new and unexplored areas of painting.
The more simples subjects such as the cup studies are in some ways a homage to Morandi, and an attempt to explore universal concepts and themes through banal and everyday objects.
The human face and figure is a subject that provides an opportunity to explore existential themes such as identity, purpose and meaning.
“ I want to explore a particular poetic approach to the felt and emotional elements of the human experience. I am after what it feels like to be human.”