Emotion on canvas
Artist David Jon Foster takes watercolor to new levels

By Lauren Nelson
News-Sentinel Feature Writer
Lodi, California • Sunday, May 13, 2007

Lodi artist David Jon Foster paints his emotions
with strokes of lively watercolors. Like a
photograph, each painting captures an event,
an emotion. Shades of blues, greens and purples
spread carefully and skillfully over canvas
represent his Fosters' moments of love or piece.
Reds and black fuse to create a dark memory of
a time of pain and depression. But mostly, they
are his ideas of what is beyond other art
inspired by objects in nature.

In a loft above Pasos Vineyards Winery at
Vino Piazza in Lockeford, Foster keeps his
photography and paint studio that is also a
gallery. When he's not painting, working or
with his family, Foster helps Antonio Pasos
in the winery. The winery isn't only filled
with paintings by Foster, but Pasos has used
Foster's fine art as the labels on his wine
bottles, and the labels, in a way, reflect the
essence of the wine itself.

Q: Can you tell me about your painting?

A: It's watercolor on canvas. It's all my own techniques. It's all original. I've never seen a watercolor on canvas in a
gallery so it's really unique. The style I've developed myself over the last few years. The techniques, too, I've
developed working with watercolor on canvas. It takes about 30 brush strokes to form to a point. That's my signature
stroke. I kind of fell into it by accident, experimenting with the watercolors on canvas.

Q: Do you stick strictly to watercolor?

A: I used to do acrylics on canvas, but I gravitated toward the watercolor because it's wild, like a wild horse. You
know like a cowboy riding a bucking bronco? He can barely hold on. And it's like with this watercolor, it's almost like
it's alive and I can barely control it. It almost has a mind of it's own.

It's always changing, too. When I put it on, it's always changing so the viscosity changes from thick to thin and that
affects how it appears on the canvas. I'm always adding water. If I add too much, it goes crazy and if I don't add
enough, it'll just sit there like a big blob of glue. It's constantly evolving like that.

Q: It's interesting that you are in a winery because you talk about your paintings like a winemaker might talk about
his wine.

A: Yeah, there are a lot of similarities. Tony is an artist and he creates wine as an art. He has his vision of what he
wants to do, and it's a little different than what I'm doing, but it's still creating.

Q: Do you usually have a vision of what you want to paint?

A: I have emotions and I usually have a notion of the colors or the forms and the feelings that I want to express. But
once I start, I don't know how the paintings are going to turn out. They change according to how I'm feeling and the
emotions I want to express.

Q: How would you classify your work?

A: My work would most likely be classified as abstract expressionism, rather than impressionism.

Q: Where do you pull your inspiration from?

A: The artist that I look up to would be Hans Hoffman,
an abstract artist. When I was younger in high school
I really looked up to Escher and Salvador Dali. They
opened up my mind to looking at things differently.
But as far my inspiration for my painting, that comes
from life events. My art is multifaceted, but it's basically
an adventure and an exploration of my mind. Different
things inspire me, people or feelings.

Q: I saw on your Web site that your wife is the center
of a lot of your pieces.

A: She's my main model. We were high school sweethearts.

Q: How would you describe the finished products of
your work?

A: It's art in its purest form. I don't paint things that are
already here on this planet, such as a bird or flower or
a person. I create this new beautiful image from my mind.
It has never been seen before. I've already seen waterfalls
and beautiful mountains and waterfalls. I've already seen
what God created and I can't really improve on that. So I
kind of create my own flower from scratch, so to speak. I
try to express emotions and feelings that I have inside
of me.

I'm trying to tell a story with my colors in my painting. And it's hard because a lot of people don't understand. It's
almost like I'm speaking a foreign language. Some people do and it's almost like we connect.

Q: Does it bother you if people do see worldly images in your watercolors?

A: No, and sometimes there are things from this world in there. Sometimes I'll put abstract images of people or things.

I don't really go out in front of a mountain and paint the mountain. It's like a song. I mean, do you see a song laying
on the road or in the trees? No, a musician creates that song on his head, in poetry also. Painting should not be like
a photograph. Anybody could take a photograph and, well, there you go. Like Einstein said, imagination is more
important than intelligence or knowledge, or something like that. I want to see what's inside someone's head —
something new and refreshing, something I've never seen before.

Q: Is it hard to let go of your paintings when you sell them?

A: It is. It's so special for me when I sell a painting to somebody. I want to be there and I want to know the person
who's buying this painting. It's like I love all these paintings, they mean so much to me. It's hard (let them go), but I
have a greater mission to spread my art throughout the world. It's like a tree growing and I want it to keep growing. If
I don't share it with people, it's like the mission isn't accomplished.

David Jon Foster's gallery is located in Pasos Winery at Vino Pizza, 12470 Locke Road, in Lockeford. His paintings
are for sale for $600-$700 each. For more about Foster or his art, visit http://www.davidjonfosterart.com.

Contact reporter Lauren Nelson at laurenn@lodinews.com.

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David Jon Foster talks about his paintings and what they
mean to him, at his studio in Vino Piazza in Lockeford.
(Brian Feulner/News-Sentinel)
Foster's paintings appear as
the labels on Pasos Vineyards
Winery's bottles. His studio is
above the winery at Vino
Piazza. (Brian
Feulner/News-Sentinel)