John Hierholzer

Region: Midwest

Relaxing on a lake on a sunny eighty-five degree afternoon in late July, personal snapshots from these weekends are transformed into paintings of friends and family. An environment is created in which we were all a part, moments at a time. These images become a semi-voyeuristic spectacle of a generation indulging in its own leisure activities.

The series began as small, controlled, semi-photorealistic watercolor paintings. These "social landscapes" were later simplified and enlarged offering the viewer a clearer understanding of how a place can bring people together to define relationships and experiences. At the same time, the individuals alter the surroundings, making them their own through actions and memories.

The highly detailed environment of Grand Lake St. Marys and the figures captured in the photos, were simplified and flattened creating a personalized coloring book. The lines are painted in with washes of vibrant color allowing the viewer to focus in and expand upon the wide range of emotions between the characters encompassed by the environment. By utilizing line and color in this manner, I am able to easily deconstruct and reassemble the image, which falls somewhere between abstraction (through the editing of the photographs and the application of the materials), and realism (due to its closeness to how we visualize time and place through memory).