Looking at our natural world through the eyes of Michigan artist, John Vassallo
Water has held a fascination throughout the eons with its unending and living, morphing waves of changing emotions. Its range of feeling range from contemplative placidity to angered rage. Civilizations have always spawned near water because of its life-giving energy.
"Water Emotion I"
Acrylic, 8”x10” Original
“Water Emotion I” is one of a series of three paintings depicting my own imaginary interpretations of how waves might react if they were able to express emotions or other states of mind.
Water Emotion II
Acrylic, 8”x10” Original
This image, “Water Emotion II”, (one of series of three) is entirely generated out of the musings of my imagination. I wished to embody various emotions as they might be expressed by the waves if they were able to consciously communicate a particular feeling.
"Water Emotion III"
Acrylic, 8”x10” Original
Here is the third (in a series of three) paintings that stem entirely from my imagination. Each one is meant to simulate some human emotion or situation in the language of waves. “Water Emotion III” is available for sale.
British Columbia Stream I
Oil, Original 16”x20”
"British Columbia Stream II"
Oil, Original 20”x24”
Among the wonders of the planet we live on are the countless fellow creatures that inhabit every corner of the earth.
"Michigan Black Bear"
Acrylic, 12”x12” Original (sold)
West Virginia 2020 Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Calendar
Along the Detroit riverfront here, as in many places near water, this scavenging rogue finds his meals from the leavings of fishermen or picnickers, or other river fare. In my original painting, “River Rogue” this sentry is caught in a moment of pensive watch, deliberating on where he may find his next meal. The off-shore wind ruffles his feathers a bit, but he is undeterred! In addition to the original, prints are also available.
Mini Art Print, 3"x3"
The Massasauga rattlesnake is an endangered reptile still found in some regions of Michigan. My original 3”x3” acrylic is sold, but I have some hand -retouched fine art prints, mounted on wooden tiles available that come with an easel.
"Mallards at Ford"
Colored Pencil and Pastel, 6”x9” Original
"Mallards at Ford" is my original drawing of two mallard ducks visiting a pond near the Ford Motor Company. It is done in a medley of color pencils and pastels. The live area is approximately 5-1/4" by 6-1/2" and is matted and presented in a clear plastic hanger frame ready to display on your wall. The finished size including the plastic sheath is 11"X14".
"Blue Gill Trophy!"
Ebony Pencil, 8”x10” Original
“Blue Gill Trophy” is available on Etsy. It comes with a white matte, simple black frame and under glass, ready to hang.
Mini Art Print, 3”x3” The gray wolf (Canis lupus), also known as the timber wolf, true wolf or western wolf is a canid native to the wilderness and remote areas of North America, Eurasia, and North Africa. There are estimated to be 3,800 graywolves across Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. (2017)
Acrylic, 3”x3” Original and Mini-Prints
My “Racoon” was an original 3”3” and also reproduced on canvas as mini-prints.
Acrylic, 12”x16” Original
Acrylic, 3"x3" Original
“Cheetah” , my original, is available to you with an easel. This feline is the fastest land animal in the world, equipped by nature for the chase! It has slender body and long legs built for speed. These beautiful cats are considered "vulnerable" in terms of their specie's existence, and needs our involvement in protecting them.
Acrylic on illustration board, 8”x10” original
Acrylic, 3”x3” Original Mini-painting
Our environment is subject to the influences of natural changes and the effects of the living organisms within it. I have taken a look at landscapes, portraits of nature, environmental events, and try to juxtapose the beauty in our world and the threats imposed on it from various sources.
Acrylic, 8”x10” original (sold)
In a series of three similar paintings, I depicted winter scenes with a solitary figure (in red jacket) in each piece. This one was called “Winter Chapel.” Although the original was sold, fine art prints are available.
Acrylic on Masonite Board
I snapped this shot during a trip with my son as he took part in the Herp Atlas Project, a survey of Massasauga rattlesnakes conducted by the Michigan Society of Herpetology. This image is of him enjoying a few solitary moments prior to starting out to search for snakes with his team members. (NFS)
"Apple Blossom" (Pyrus coronaria) Michigan's State Flower
Acrylic, 12”x12” Original
"Machester County Hardwoods" (Michigan)
Trekking through the woods and back-roads, my son snapped this rather surreal view of the startling green projected in this scene. These colors are very true to the photograph he took!
"Black Eyed Susan" (Rudbekia hirta)
Acrylic, 10”x10” Original
"Morning Frost in Kaibab National Forest"
Acrylic on canvas, 12”x12” original (commission)
"Shaded Shack at Kensington"
Oil, 9”x12” Original Plein Air (work in progress)
"Marquette Swamp Bird" (Marquette, Michigan)
Acrylic, 11”x14” Original
My son attended college in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and often provided me with these personal images of his hikes through the Marquette area and elsewhere around the region.
"Lake Erie Metropark Marina"
Oil, 12”x16” Original/Plein Air (work in progress)
This painting in oil was started on site as a plein air trip to the Lake Erie Metro park. I am currently working on it to finalize details and will update this image when complete.
On a trip to Vancouver, Canada (British Columbia) I observed the abundance of streams throughout the area and of course a view of the Pacific waterfront. This is one of those ‘side of the road” scenes that were so commonplace.
Acrylic, 10”x10” Original
Native Michigan flower. Common Spiderwort; Tradescantia ohiensis
I love dogs. I love all animals. They each have a personality of their own. Doing pet portraits is particularly satisfying for me. They bring me joy and often a pet portrait softens the loss of a pet when the inevitable comes. Here are some of my “best friends.”
If you are interested in a mini-portrait (3”x3” acrylic with easel) click here: pet portrait
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Use my contact page for inquiries about commissions.
Acrylic on Canvas, 9”x12” Original
Pet Gallery I (3"x3")
Acrylic 3”x3” Gallery
These are 25 of the many 3”x3” portraits I have done over the past few years. I keep trying to improve these with new technique practices and consideration for the best use of color, contrast, and composition in the very small working space.
Michigan and its rich repository of lakes, streams, rivers, and wildlife are primary subjects of my work. I also use my art to explore and advocate for the protection of water- the future gold standard for human life. The environment and its issues are prominent in my creative endeavors. I’ve also included some of my other favorite subjects to round things out! Please visit my social media connections accessible through the icons shown on this site. If you are interested in purchasing any of my art, go to my Etsy site or click the links included within the captions of the art shown in the gallery. (Please note that a watermark has been added to images for appearance on the internet only.)
Thank you! Let’s work together to protect our planet!