Vistaunet shows work in Everett, Florida

After 30 years working for the United States Postal Service, John Vistaunet settled on five acres in Marysville to resume a long-neglected art career.

“Some capacities have been resurrected,” he said. “Some lost forever.”

After growing up in California, Vistaunet moved “back” to Washington state.

“My dad grew up in Bellingham and most of my relatives live here in the Northwest.”

He moved around for a while, from Kayak Point to Stanwood, and then Everett, before he built a house and studio on five acres on the hill overlooking Marysville.

“It’s not a bad place to live, but it’s a devil of a place to launch an art career,” Vistaunet said.

His large sensuous portraits of women have been exhibited at a variety of venues around the Northwest since he arrived here. He is currently participating in several Everett shows as well as a national show at the Weatherburn Gallery in Florida.

“The International Guild of Realism has an annual juried show for members at a different host gallery each year,” Vistaunet said, explaining how he got into the Florida show.

“I joined in time to enter this year’s show, which happens to be at Weatherburn Gallery,” he said.

Vistaunet explains his work as an interplay of the flat painting surface with the illusion of three dimensional space.

“It’s not just as it is about the sensual beauty of the female form,” Vistaunet said.

The nudes are presented straightforwardly, neither shocking nor coy, he said. The figures themselves are lifelike, sumptuous and beautiful, sometimes playful, at ease with themselves and at home in their space, happily oblivious to the artistic and compositional machinations at work around them.

The skilled artist likes to challenge the viewer’s preconceptions of where space should begin and end.

Background and foreground trade places to challenge the eye, he said.

He likes to create images that take time to digest, so viewers will discover things not seen at first glance.

“In this kind of visual journey, one discovers that art can be stimulating rather than pedantic, enriching rather than morbid, transporting rather than reporting.”

Vistaunet currently has works in three shows in Everett:

n “It’s Raining Men” is a group exhibit of art portraying modern men in a variety of media including drawings, paintings, photography and sculptures running through Feb. 28 at the Solovei Art Gallery on Grand Ave. in Everett. Vistaunet has two older works in this show, “Portrait No.6: Dan” was painted in 1982 and “Self Portrait: Open Door,” a 40-inch by 30-inch acrylic and gouache was done in 1985. The show also includes works by retired Arlington High School art teacher Keith Pace, who lives in Everett.

n He has a couple of “sketchy” pieces in a group show of nudes, “Go Figure,” that runs through March 6 at Sisters Restaurant, right next door to Solovei Art Gallery.

n “A Good Egg” and “Splendor in the Grass” are in a show at Lowell Art Works called “Nude Awakening.”

Vistaunet’s awards include:

n 2007 Finalist in The Artist’s Magazine competition, Portrait & Figure Category with several other awards from the magazine.

n 2005 Grand Prize Award, 2005 Pastel 100 in The Pastel Journal competition.

n 2004 People’s Choice Award and honorable mention at Anacortes Arts Festival.

n Best of Show, Equinox Arts Festival in Everett.

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