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Jonathan Herbert

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Artistic Vision

I am a direct descendant of the Paleolithic shamans who crawled miles into the caves of the Périgord to leave a record of their psychedelically-induced journeys to the spirit world. I also journey to places where the rest of the tribe cannot go, and return with visual magic that gives a visible, though abstract, face to the ineffable. My intent is to create for the collective a doorway to the heart, a window to the soul that connects the mundane with the divine. I am confident in my ability to use classical and modern tools and materials to forge pathways to the Infinite. After nearly 50 years of working with my materials, I no longer need to give conscious thought to the nature or process of creation.


During my last six years in New York City I used handmade oil paints created daily by a talented assistant. I switched from oil paint to acrylic paints upon my arrival in Sarasota. The reasons are multiple: I was unable to find an assistant with the necessary skills, was moved by a desire to make a less toxic footprint on my new home in Paradise, and am physically limited by the advancing effects of 9/11-induced lymphomas on my bodily energy and stamina. Happily, I discovered Guerra Paint & Pigment, a source of magnificent pigments and acrylic binder mediums that give me back the power to create my own paints.

This was the most important milestone in the development of my artistic practice in Sarasota. I missed the opportunity to create my own materials from scratch — allowing me the freedom to paint as Universe directs. Creating my own materials in the studio, I feel the collaborating presence of the ancient alchemists who cloistered themselves in noxious laboratories to experiment with various substances to discover their mystical properties. Mixing my own paints gives me an incredible sense of relief, freedom, and a connection to that Power that drives my artistic process. In studio, the Muses run the show. My art is a voyage of discovery, my means of communicating the numinous wonder of being. This has always been the foundation of my need to create art.


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