John Whitney's work is about the essence within us. His complex figurative based art displays his compassion for form and shared space conveyed in an expressionistic style. He captures the substance on the subject and through a fusion of shape and mood.

John Whitney's childhood was considerably different than most. His aunt Marjorie Whitney was Chairman of the Design Department of the University of Kansas, muralist, and illustrator of numerous books and publications. His father William R. Whitney Jr. had been Supervisor of the Art and Crafts division of the WPA in Kansas, displayed work at the 1939 New York World's Fair, and also worked with Eleanor Roosevelt as an advisor for a WPA arts project in Arthurville, West Virginia. Growing up in a family of artists, he spent much of his youth on painting excursions traveling to river bank, road cuts, and lakes, looking for roots and boulders that through erosion had exposed the skeleton structure that formed the vast prairies of Kansas and Oklahoma. They gathered creek water and mixed it with the prepared watercolor which was applied to carefully stretched Arches paper. For hours that followed, John would be lectured on composition, pigment grinds, the minimalism and descriptive meaning of each paint stroke. While painting, John's aunt and father told of their friends Ernst Bloch, a Taos artist and a member of the Blue Rider movement, and Will Penny who was never without a sketch book in his hands. The stories described the dedication these artists had in their pursuit of art.

In the 1960's John Whitney worked as a stage designer and a muralist. After his studies at the University of Kansas, he worked as a sculptor exhibiting at the Jamison Gallery and the Collector's Gallery in Santa Fe, and Gallery A in Taos, New Mexico.

John is currently working as a graphics artist and painter of oil and watercolor. His work deals mainly with the figure, with an occasional still life.

Oceanside Gallery has been collecting John Whitney's watercolors, monotypes and etchings and is thrilled to able to share these lighthearted pieces.