John Roberts

b. 1974, Memphis
Night of the Residual Haunting
Night of the Residual Haunting

Shaped by his family history, John Roberts paints to express the extraordinary within everyday environments. Tiny gravestones, farm equipment, perfectly pitched roofs, dogs, lots of cats, and recurring characters are surrounded by sloping hills and curved lines of farm country. The paintings feel vaguely historic, coming from a time that’s not quite identifiable but familiar, nonetheless. Roberts’ nostalgic paintings remind viewers of generations, ways of life, and tranquility that no longer exist. Woven into his works are stories of first hunts, supernatural experiences, and family legends that the surrounding land has seen. They are warm, haunting, quiet, and deceptively complex.

There is a reverence for people that Roberts emphasizes in his work. Within the celebration of the land, which has been in his family for eight generations, the people - daughters, uncles, grandmothers, sons - are the cornerstones, centerpieces, and foundation of his paintings and life. Three matriarchs look through the window with unmoved expressions. Although an eerie encounter, they’re not there to pass judgment or reprimand, but rather to reassure. A father works out his demons on a woodpile under a crescent moon. A son’s first hunt ends in remorse. Roberts joins American scene painters like Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, and Carroll Cloar who’ve shared life in Middle America with mythical, fable-like imagery that reveals a more honest and dark, yet somehow tender endorsement of the heartland.

John Roberts was born in Memphis, TN, grew up in Searcy, AR. He lives in Sharon, TN, on land that his distant grandmother bought and settled in 1838. He holds a BFA in Painting and Drawing from Harding University and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Arkansas. As a long-time tombstone etcher, he comes by supernatural encounters honestly. He lives on his family farm with his wife and eight children.

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Night of the Residual Haunting
Night of the Residual Haunting
Nothing Ever Goes Unseen
Nothing Ever Goes Unseen
Uncle Jack and the Snapper (Three Sheets to the Wind)
Uncle Jack and the Snapper (Three Sheets to the Wind)
The Watchers
The Watchers
The Last Hunt
The Last Hunt
Eden with Tristan Farnon
Eden with Tristan Farnon
Watchers at the Old House
Watchers at the Old House
The Lady in White Returns to the Woods
The Lady in White Returns to the Woods
Hwy 64 to Marion, Arkansas
Hwy 64 to Marion, Arkansas
The Jay Birds
The Jay Birds
We Have Lived Our Lives in the Valley of the Shadow of Death
We Have Lived Our Lives in the Valley of the Shadow of Death
It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
Moses Mandela
Moses Mandela
Abracadabra at the KOA
Abracadabra at the KOA
Night of the Residual Haunting
Night of the Residual Haunting
graphite on paper, 55.5x70
2021
Nothing Ever Goes Unseen
Nothing Ever Goes Unseen
oil on panel, 48x36
2022
Uncle Jack and the Snapper (Three Sheets to the Wind)
Uncle Jack and the Snapper (Three Sheets to the Wind)
oil on panel, 48x36
2022
The Watchers
The Watchers
oil on panel, 36x38
2021
The Last Hunt
The Last Hunt
oil on canvas, 72.5x72.5
2022
Eden with Tristan Farnon
Eden with Tristan Farnon
oil on canvas, 60.25x60.25
2021
Watchers at the Old House
Watchers at the Old House
oil on canvas, 24x48
2022
The Lady in White Returns to the Woods
The Lady in White Returns to the Woods
india ink on paper, 55.5x65
2022
Hwy 64 to Marion, Arkansas
Hwy 64 to Marion, Arkansas
oil on panel, 20x40
2022
The Jay Birds
The Jay Birds
oil on wood pane, 20x40
2022
We Have Lived Our Lives in the Valley of the Shadow of Death
We Have Lived Our Lives in the Valley of the Shadow of Death
oil on canvas, 60x60
2021
It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
oil on canvas, 48x48
2021
Moses Mandela
Moses Mandela
oil on canvas, 36x36
2021
Abracadabra at the KOA
Abracadabra at the KOA
oil on panel, 20x40
2022

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