Sweet Sticky Gooey on view at 3020 E. Grand Blvd.  Photograph by Lisa Spindler.

Sweet Sticky Gooey on view at 3020 E. Grand Blvd.  Photograph by Lisa Spindler.

John McLaughlin slowly creates his paintings by building on and modifying motifs applied in previous layers. He embraces improvisational gestures and incidents allowing some of the previous marks to show in a palimpsest manner. ”My art work on canvas involves the unintended or accidental effect of a mark or gesture drawn over a period of time and many paint layers.” This allows the viewer to form their own conclusion based on each individual imagination and past experience.


What is currently your favorite:  

Website: my current favorite web site is "things that fit perfectly into other things"   I know, a little strange, but that's something I always notice. thingsfittingperfectlyintothings.tumbler.com
Work of art:  Matisse's "The Window" at the DIA. Always inspirational. Brilliant.
Piece of advise to artists:   Have fun. Don't take it too seriously. Punching a time clock and selling auto parts for 35 years is Work. Art is fun and play.

What one item would you grab if your house were on fire?
If my house were on fire I would grab my drawing pad. It'll give me something to do while the house burns down. 

Do you collect anything?
Besides dust I collect children's art. Being self taught I relate to their work without any rules or regulations. They seem to relate to mine. I relate to silliness.

Was there an artist you admired that inspired you to be an artist yourself?
Many artists have inspired me. One in particular is Robert Adams, the photographer.

Is there a particular local artist whose work you admire?
Local artist whose work I admire. Robert Mirek. And I'm not just saying that.

What themes do you tend to pursue in your work?
Themes in my work would be music (free form jazz) and nature.

Where are you finding inspiration for those themes these days?
I get inspiration for these by listening and walking. I love music,  I love to walk.

Is there a single habit that you strongly believe contributes to your success as an artist?
My single best art habit is day dreaming.

How do you feel about the art market / scene in Detroit?  Have you seen a shift in the last few years? 
The Detroit art scene is exploding. I see a big difference in the last few years. Its very exciting to have a presence at the best art gallery in Detroit.

What are you looking forward to most about the upcoming exhibition:  On the Surface?
I'm looking forward to people's reaction to my work. Positive or negative reaction is good. I make it to be seen.