John Stillmunks

John Stillmunks

John Stillmunks

I paint because I must – there is no “Off” switch.

My work usually originates from noticing a chance shape or form in a rather loose preliminary wash or underpainting on a black canvas. The work then takes off from this anchor point – sometimes the initial shape is obvious in the finished painting and sometimes it is a more vague connection that develops the composition. I prefer to use intense brushwork and the “right” colors in my compositions rather than local color in order to push the idea of improvisation as much as I can in each painting. The compositions are usually worked and reworked to develop line, value, color, and texture. Each and every painting is prepped and painted entirely by me. Each painting is an original composition.

I studied art in Nebraska, Colorado, and Iowa before finishing my BFA at Iowa State. My paintings are shown in several galleries and fine art fairs/festivals throughout the year. A displaced Nebraskan, I work out of my studio/gallery (Independent Thought Gallery and Studio) in Des Moines, IA with invaluable help from my wife Madonna and our two sons – Ian and Brock since we started the business in 2002.

Smaller paintings are listed on and

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Lazy Susans

Originals on 8.5x4.5x.25 Wood Panels