“John Felsing always keeps his loyal—and growing—collector base guessing. We’re forced by his reclusiveness to ask: Where has he been? It’s an inquiry directed as much at his mental frame of mind as his points of contact with terra firma.
To his credit, he has established a track record of delivering the goods, which is to say, he continually delights us with fresh interpretations of the world around him.
Felsing evades predictability, not as a defiant reflex against those who are perfectly contented with his artwork, and would prefer that it remain the same, but because he is constantly pressing the boundaries between the familiar and the unknown.
For years, some have come to know the artist through his dreamscapes. Ethereal and moody, those works entranced the viewer more with palette and color harmony than with the faint, recognizable outlines of a specific subject. As meditations offered to us for pondering, their origins were a deeply personal place in Felsing’s life: the rural environs around his home in Michigan.
Serene creeks, meadows and woodlots, constantly changing through the seasons, served as elemental metaphors. The duality of light and shadow; conscious awakening and slumber; day and night; warmth and chill; sun and moon; life, death and rebirth spoke to our souls. And his abiding refuges became our own….
Felsing’s explorations have taken him through the misty, ancient geothermal pools of Yellowstone National Park and across the haunting, hallowed ground of the Civil War battlefields…(skipped more) Society hails artists who evoke the spirit of their own time. Yet we revere the select few who articulate the ineffable in ways that are accessible, regardless of the age in which a work is created. For most artist interpreters, the paradox of seeking to transcend time is simply too vexing to reconcile.
Felsing pulls us deeper into the ether of a pure aesthetic reality that is neither absolutely one way, nor the other. It just is. (His milieu here involves fragments of moments that compel us to stop and realize that we have happened upon a glimpse into something eternal.—great sentence, although it pertains to the work in the specific book this is from).
Felsing’s concept of temporal dimensions obviously does not conform to the hands on a clock. Time for him is rooted in an emotional response to his surroundings. It may involve a welling up of memories or sensations of yearning, sorrow, pain, gladness, even ecstasy.
Getting lost in the esoteric is the ever-present danger of non-representational art. A clever artist can be so deliberately vague and obtuse that the imagery can be about anything the viewer wants it to be, or nothing at all. Yes, that’s ultimately what art is, but why then bother with titles?
Felsing provides clues of intent with his titles and again, the energy of the work flows through real places and historic events.
Like all of Felsing’s work, impact is achieved not through projecting bold color or screaming forms, but through subtle, elusive recession Once the image gains our attention, it pulls us into the frame and there our thoughts remain, transfixed.