John Valois

John Valois.jpg
At Seaport Village
Along PCH Central Coast
During my forty year career in the academic world, including thirty-one years as a psychology professor at the University of San Diego, I always felt “something” was missing in my life. That something was the need for creative visual expression. During the 60’s and 70’s I had begun painting using oils and acrylics and whole new vistas opened to me. Unfortunately, life with its family and professional demands interrupted those early explorations and it was not till I retired that I returned to the art world.
In the time interval a new age, the digital, had begun and a new artistic medium, digital, had developed. I found the flexibility and range of possibilities offered by the digital media to be excellent means for expressing my long buried creative feelings and ideas. Photoshop and Painter have become my artistic tools of choice. The digital camera has also become part of my tool set. Photography not only reflects the reality of the moment but, with the help of creative software, it depicts realities as one would re-imagine them. Together these instruments help me develop works that are creative re-presentations of real and imaginary worlds. I also discovered that the artistic process frequently lead me into unforeseen areas with some surprising and exciting results.
Ezra Pound once gave the definition of an artistic image as an “intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time”. Much of my work results in emotional-thought images which are indeed time-captures of these complexes.
My creations focus not only on what is “out there” but on the underlying emotional and psychological forces that make us human. Mythology, religion, literature, music, poetry and visual imagery are all attempts at communicating a sense of what these elemental powers are. Consciously and unconsciously they influence how we feel, think, and experience life in its most fundamental dualities: love - hate, security - fear, happiness - sadness , domination - submission, strength - weakness, confidence - anxiety and so on. The conflicts and complementarities of the inner and outer worlds play a significant role in the content of my work. These are the “realities” that shape our lives and as an artist I attempt to create imagery that will recreate these in ways that resonate with my viewers.