Introduction by Krysia Jopek

I fell in love with Jonathan K. Rice’s paintings on facebook several years ago. He is one of my favorite contemporary Abstract Expressionists, whose paintings seem to be a contemporization and furthering of the paintings of Klee, Kandinsky, and Pollock. I admire his ability to create exquisite compositions of color, texture, and depth. He is a sculptor with acrylics on canvas.

Because he is a poet, his titles are quite beautiful and deepen the viewer’s perception of his work. I came to know his poetry also, especially his collection Killing Time (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2015).

I am the proud owner of four of Jonathan’s paintings. It is with great pleasure that I present this virtual art show and selection of his poetry: Adrift.

How to Meditate
acrylic on canvas
10” x 10”
©2017


Querencia
acrylic on canvas
20” x 20”
©2016


Quantum Excursion
acrylic on canvas
20” x 20”
©2016

Xenophilia
acrylic on canvas
20” x 20”
©2016

Permission to Forget
acrylic on canvas
12” x 12”
©2015

Raven Liturgy
acrylic on canvas
14” x 14”
©2015

No Sacrifice to Offer
acrylic on canvas
14” x 14”
©2016

Saliences
acrylic on canvas
10” x 10”
©2015

Mending Time
acrylic on canvas
10” x 10”
©2016

Marginalia
acrylic on canvas
20” x 20”
©2018

I’ve Been Looking Everywhere For You
acrylic on canvas
10” x 10”
©2017

Plight
acrylic on canvas 11” x 14”
©2018

Nostomania
acrylic on canvas
20” x 20”
©2016

Sojourn
acrylic on canvas
20” x 24”
©2014

Broken Promises
acrylic on canvas
9” x 12”
©2018

Sovereign Waters
acrylic on canvas
10” x 10”
©2016

Adrift
acrylic on canvas
15” x 45”
©2015

Artist Statement

Image, color, composition, and texture are all informed by what I read, what I listen to, and that which surrounds me. I work with acrylics and mixed media, creating primarily abstract paintings and assemblage.
Through my art, I explore the relevance of the indescribable, and work toward the understanding of that which can’t always be understood. In this sense, creating art is a spiritual journey as I seek to connect the physical and nonphysical with the intention of drawing the viewer into a deeper understanding of him or herself in relation to the world and that which is physically beyond them.

When asked how I begin a new piece, I like to say that I let the canvas tell me what to do. I may start with a wash of one color and build layer upon layer of blended washes. I may take a palette knife or trowel and spread on a layer of thickly textured acrylic medium. I may begin by gluing various papers to canvas or wood panel. I like quiet time late in the evening. I often paint while I listen to music. On occasion I work on more than a few pieces at a time. In the end though, the canvas tells me when to stop as if crying out, “No more!” That’s when I step back and say, “It is finished.”

Jonathan K. Rice

* * * * *

Finding

There we were
in a bamboo
labyrinth
near a river
bending time
and desire,
holding hands,

finding our way
as the afternoon
leaned into dusk,
an undercurrent
of uncertainty
yet nothing abides
like nightfall
and how earth
embraces it,

how the sun rises
each morning,
how we find
ourselves

©2018

* * * * *

Anchored

You’re anchored
lightly to the earth

it slowly turns
as you dance

upon its meadows
through forests and valleys

as dervishes in deserts
and mosques

as dolphins and whales
leap, breach, do figure eights

through cresting waves,
dive gracefully to depths

where ancient anchors
lie and rust amid coral,

barnacles, crustaceans,
otherworldly creatures

that gently move
in rhythm with currents,

the moon and tides,
salt and sand,

the sun that warms your face,
your hands that reach for mine

©2018

* * * * *

Letters

I write
letters
I never
mail,
explaining
myself,

sometimes
apologizing,
sometimes
defining
words
like soul
and never,
avoiding
love
and infinity,

although
I always
liked
the idea
of infinity
and how
it exists
between
0 and 1,
how
there are
larger
infinities
between
0 and 2,
0 and 3,
and on and on
ad infinitum

and how love
can be
unrequited,
unconditional,
undeserved,
undisciplined

so many
possibilities,
so many
letters
left
un-composed

©2018
* * * * *

Saliva

We take it
for granted

the stuff of taste,
spit, life

double helixes
in every kiss

venom of snakes
silk of caterpillars

glue of nests
for certain swifts

Jesus’ spittle
to heal the blind

Pavlov’s anticipated
conditioning

the mouth’s
protector

our natural lubricant.

©2018

* * * * *

Loose Thread

She teaches me the importance
of knowing where to cut the loose thread,

where it’s from, where it may lead.
She knows the secrets of fabric,

what cloth teaches us about ourselves,
how it hangs from our bodies,

learns from how we walk
from how children roll and tumble.

There behind a button or a zipper
underneath a hem or seam

like the meaning of a parable
it is there to understand.

from Killing Time (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2015)

* * * * *
Rearranging

You bashfully disrobe
by the settee
and coffee table
laden with flowers.

There is comfort
in the dim studio lighting,
a decorative pillow,
a knitted throw.

I direct your pose
but you rearrange yourself
as I explore the curve
of your being,
your half-closed eyes,
your mysterious smile.

At the easel I adjust
the small light to my side
not knowing
where to begin.
Your horizon unknown,
your landscape unexplored.

from Killing Time (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2015) (

* * * * *
Biographical Notes:

Jonathan K. Rice edited Iodine Poetry Journal for seventeen years and served as a co-editor for Kakalak in 2016. He most recently co-edited Of Burgers & Barrooms, an anthology published by Main Street Rag Publishing in 2017.

He is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Killing Time (2015), Ukulele and Other Poems (2006) and a chapbook, Shooting Pool with a Cellist (2003), all published by Main Street Rag Publishing. His poetry and art have appeared in numerous publications, including The Aurorean, Cold Mountain Review, Comstock Review, Empty Mirror, Gargoyle, Levure Litteraire, The Main Street Rag, Wild Goose Poetry Review and the anthologies, Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race and The Southern Poetry Anthology VII: North Carolina.

His art has appeared in a number of group and solo exhibits in the Carolinas. Most recently his show Excursions: Paintings by Jonathan K. Rice ran through June 2018 at the North Charleston City Gallery.

He is the recipient of the 2012 Irene Blair Honeycutt Legacy Award for outstanding service in support of local and regional writers, awarded by Central Piedmont Community College. Jonathan lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.

author photo by Yajaira Vazquez
©2015

Jonathan K. Rice’s paintings, including the seventeen here in this virtual art show, are available to purchase. Please contact Jonathan via facebook, if interested!

Jonathan’s website
Killing Time (book of poetry)
Jonathan on facebook

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