Surrealist painter John McIntosh is well known for his colourful and often humorous images of things imagined, dreamed or story told. Whether he is hiding a message of importance or just a pretty tale, the viewer is invited to look into the picture and find the meaning behind it. Tosh’s paintings are executed with talent and illustrative precision and full of vibrant colour.
Enjoy this Q&A and find out a little bit behind the artist John McIntosh (TOSH).
Getting to know....TOSH
When did you first feel the desire to be artistic and realize you had talent?
When I was 7 or 8 my Uncle, who worked in the mines at Kalgoorlie, would stay with my parents when he came to Perth.
Drawing was one of his hobbies and he would often set up at the kitchen table with pencils, art books and magazines, I would climb up next to him (my Hero) and copy from the Disney comics he would always bring me.
Where did you learn your art?
That was pretty much the start, a couple of years later he gave me some of his art books (after consultation with my parents who were most concerned)…one of them had nude photos!
So…largely self taught.
What inspires you most?
The notion ‘there is no reality only perception’, the surreal quality of the ‘reality’ of this world, the very thin layer of atmosphere and greenery sandwiched between a sphere of molten rock and the infinite vacuum of space that we inhabit…..our tenuous existance, produces zero anxiety compared to a sauce stain on the shirt.
I like to create ‘landscapes of the mind’, the distinction between real and surreal I find a very blurred division.
What message are you sending to the viewer of your art?
Describe your studio…
Most of 2013-14 was consumed in designing, documenting and building my house and studio (on a tight budget).
Probably more accurately described as Studio with living accomodation attached, built from composite insulated panels (both walls and roof), a sort of live-in coolroom with good south light!
Tucked away on a battleaxe block, park opposite, easy walk to the ocean…it fits me nicely.
Describe your typical day of creating art…
What mediums do you use and why?
Prefer Acrylics, not that keen on the smell of oil paint.
What are you working on now?
Describing what you’re doing before you’ve finished it seems to be the kiss of death.
What do you love most about what you do?
Not love…maybe hope… at some stage in the struggle, to enter ‘flow’, where time passes without you being aware of its passing, and with luck you may be left with an image of a place you’ve been, that you hadn’t known existed.
Where can you see yourself in 10 years time?
Happy if I can see myself.