John Cogan did not became a painter by the usual approach. After earning a Ph.D. in atomic physics,
John spent two years working in the field of geophysics before he made a detour and became a full-time painter.
But John does not see it as such a big change.
“The whole physical world is interconnected in a grand design,’ John points out. “My doctoral thesis work was
on atmospheric collisions between simple atoms and protons. Now I find myself considering how the physics of the
atmosphere affects the color of the sky and how to convey that color in paint.” John also relies on the physics
of light and optics to better understand how to render the created world in pigments. His knowledge of geophysics
is reflected in his love of painting the great rock formations and massive mountains of the western United States.
While he occasionally uses oil paints when working “en plein air”, John prefers acrylics both for his studio
paintings and most of his plein air work, pointing out that they are at least as durable, if not more so, than oil
paint. It also gives him the bright colors he loves to use in his landscapes. He layers the paint on his canvas
and, with acrylics, he spends little time waiting for the initial layers to dry. This allows him to build up multiple
layers of glazes and gives his paintings a transparency rarely seen in acrylics.
As for subject matter, the Four Corners area is perfect. Since moving to New Mexico in 1993, Cogan has taken
advantage of the nearby views in all of the four corner states, as well as making excursions to California, Texas,
and Wyoming. He uses a combination of field sketches and photographs for his studio works, but paints many of his
smaller paintings on location.
Although primarily interested in landscapes, he has painted other subjects, including still lifes, wildlife,
John’s work is carried by El Prado Galleries in Sedona, Arizona, Galleries West in Jackson, Wyoming, and
Southwest Galleries in Dallas, Texas. He and his family make their home in New Mexico.
Visit John's website to see samples of his artwork.