The Artist John Marcella Grant’s Story

John Grant

John Marcella Grant grew up at the beach in CA, doodling, drawing, reading comics at the library, and making art on the side.  As a child small for his age, he was often bullied by neighbor surfer kids.  One time, trying to leave his friends' house, his two 'friends' locked the front door and body-slammed him repeatedly until they broke his arm.  Now in many of his sculptures, Grant makes himself 'powerful' through his art -- he does this by sculpting a superhero's face over his own face. 

In 2003, he and his wife Julie and their three young children moved from Long Beach, CA to Texas A&M in order for him to earn his Master's degree in Architecture.  He chose Texas A&M after a quick Google search for which state offered the best architecture school with the lowest cost of living.  He flourished at TAMU, earning the Aggie Spirit award, as well as the most scholarships in his entire class.  But while most of his peers in the Langford building designed highly functional structures which would work well in the real world, Grant's edifices looked like something straight out of Lord of the Rings, or Flash Gordon.  His professors would often look at his posters scratching their beards and wonder aloud, "Very interesting.  What were you smoking when you drew this?" (nothing).  After three years working for architects in CA and TX, Grant realized that his true calling lay in the art world.  This realization coincided with his wife Julie dealing with major health issues.  

Soon, doors of opportunity began flying open in CA.  During many visits to L.A. to visit family, Grant began taking side trips to meet and break bread with many of the top artists in the U.S. including Chuck Arnoldi, Kent Twitchell, and Bradford Salamon.  Two other artists began mentoring Grant in person in their studios, and via email (world-famous Mark Bradford, and his own mentor Laddie John Dill, who appears in art history books).  They all said the same thing:  "Keep going man.  You are on the right track.  Keep doing the work!" 

Locally in College Station, Grant has been receiving steady encouragement from fellow artists John Pinkerton, Larry Schueckler, and Renzo Binda.  As Grant works on his sculptures, he actually sculpts heads on top of a sculpture of his own head (like seismic geologic layers).  As he draws, sometimes he begins by drawing one face; and this face inspires him to erase bits, and darken other parts, leading him to draw somebody else's face in the place of the first one.  As Grant paints, he is evolving into becoming a more loose painter.  By nature, normally uptight and shy, Grant is forcing his paintings to loosen up year by year.  His goal is to attain a loose realism in his figurative-realism work; and then he wants to tear his paintings down and go beyond realism, like Van Gogh.  Currently, Grant's most favorite artist is the deceased famous portrait artist Alice Neel, because her work is so loose yet confident.


HOME page>                  NEW STUFF page> 
          WRITING CONTENT page>       GUEST ARTISTS page>Home_1.htmlNew_Stuff.htmlEssays.htmlGuest_Artists.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2shapeimage_1_link_3