Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Watcher


The Watcher       

John A. Roof     Oct. 8, 2009

As I warmed my self on this grey day
Concealed behind my cover of lust
My voyeur soul longed to see more
I watched as my lady prepared herself
Her beauty is far more than one can stand
Her emeralds hanging loosely on her body
And her gown of green moving oh so softly
From the gently breath of her lover and master
Begging you to come closer
Her arms in perfect movement to the music
As though conducting Chopin, Bach or some other
And her always pulling at my soul
 Longing for her loving embrace
I know she has such a short time left to change
She will soon expose her gown of gold
Then she will silently lay bare before me at rest
Showing her strength and beautiful form
Me waiting so impatiently for her
To return so I can once again
See her dress before my eyes
And watch her dance to the soft summer music

Friday, April 15, 2011

My Soul

Troubled Passion

this painting is hanging in Austin City Hall the People's Gallery

The Kiss


The First Time and It Has Not Been the Same

John A. Roof                                                         

The first time it happened was with someone I liked in the sixth grade.  Then a quick two week affair during my seventh grade summer vacation in East Liverpool, Ohio while staying with my Grandmother Bowman, it happened with the girl next door.  Then it happened again in a torrid affair with a girl in the eighth grade that continued on and off, into my college years, with us ending up living together for a semester.  This time it was different; it had a feel that I have only experienced once and all similar experiences before and since have been rated by this one, the first time.  Too often we rate different experiences we have in our life on the bases of 1 to 10.  This experience cannot be rated on that superficial rating system nor should any.  Each life experience should be graded by its own merits.
It was a Saturday night and the summer vacation again was coming to a quick end.  In one more week I was going to be a freshman in high school, that time in one's life when everyone is out trying to run your life and at the same time you are making great steps towards your own independence.  That night a group of us from the neighborhood decided to go to the Pastime Theater.  I don't recall what movie was showing at the theater but I have a vivid remembrance of that night.  The group that summer was made up mostly of seventh and eighth graders.  I was the oldest.  As we walked to the theater we talked about school starting, teachers, and who not to get.  Back then it was not being taken somewhere that was fun but the act of getting there, the exchange of ideas and experiences as we prepared for our life to come.  This night would release a deep feeling from in my soul that would end my innocence and begin my adulthood.  We each paid for our tickets that were fifty cents, got our drinks and found our seats.  Janice and I sat at the end of the row.  The show soon began with a cartoon, as all shows did then.  After the cartoon ended I reached down and took her hand and held it though the movie.  As I took her hand she turned and looked at me; her eyes looked as though tears would soon begin to roll down the white cheeks that had never seen make-up, her face was so pure.
This was the last summer I spent at home--all the following summers vacations were spent on the road or in some remote wilderness camp in the high country of New Mexico.  I would return home at the end of the summer a few days before school would start.  One year I left school a couple of days before summer vacation began.  I never again felt the embrace of a summer night walk with friends and the pleasure of holding hands with a young beautiful innocence girl.  At some point in life, you must cross a bridge leaving your youth and innocent behind.
The movie progressed.  Janice and I leaned closer together enjoying the oneness that we shared between us.  I remember thinking the theaters should make seats without armrests.  My side was killing me having leaned against the armrest for the duration of the show.  I turned and looked at Janice and watched her eyes as the light and movement of the movie were reflected in them.  There came a smile to her face.  She turned to see if I was enjoying the same moment in the movie and was surprised to see that I had been watching her instead of the movie.  This pleased her--it showed in her face as she returned to the movie.  I gently removed my hand from hers and put my arm around her shoulder.  I leaned so that I interrupted her view of the movie and ever so gently kissed her.  She received her first kiss with true grace of innocence.  There was now a new knowledge that she was loved by someone other than her parents.  I leaned back; her sister and Suzy Tatton another girl friend of theirs could not believe what they had witnessed.  I had taken her innocence and before their eyes she became a young woman.  This was her first kiss; it would not be her last nor would it be our last.
As we left the theater and began our walk home the other girls could talk of nothing else but the kiss.  The boys who were with us acted as though they were indifferent, somewhat disappointed and betrayed for now they too realized that their bridge lay not far ahead.  I stole one more kiss from Janice that night; it would be along time before I received another, maybe the next night.  We remained together till I got restless and grew away from her, which is what boys do at that age.  Janice was my first heartfelt love.  I think back to that summer night and the young confused feelings that I experienced and I search my soul for the lost innocence.  Wherever you are Janice a little of me is with you.       

Blue Soul

The Last Orgy

Lone Soul March 2011

The Watcher


The Watcher       

John A. Roof     Oct. 8, 2009

As I warmed my self on this grey day
Concealed behind my cover of lust
My voyeur soul longed to see more
I watched as my lady prepared herself
Her beauty is far more than one can stand
Her emeralds hanging loosely on her body
And her gown of green moving oh so softly
From the gently breath of her lover and master
Begging you to come closer
Her arms in perfect movement to the music
As though conducting Chopin, Bach or some other
And her always pulling at my soul
 Longing for her loving embrace
I know she has such a short time left to change
She will soon expose her gown of gold
Then she will silently lay bare before me at rest
Showing her strength and beautiful form
Me waiting so impatiently for her
To return so I can once again
See her dress before my eyes
And watch her dance to the soft summer music

Artist Statement


Artist Statement

I graduated from Texas Tech in December, 1973, with a BFA in studio painting.  I thought at that time the world was waiting for me.  I never stopped painting, drawing, or growing after graduation, but when my wife, Betsy, and I moved to Staples, Texas and bought the General Store, things started to happen.  Lamartine, Aries, was to Van Gogh what Staples is to me.

Staples is a very small forgotten village on the San Marcos River.  There are unspoiled fields where wheat, corn, and maize are grown, and live oaks and pecan trees have flourished since long before the arrival of the white man.  In the spring the wild flowers have no end. The sky changes with every breath.  The trees speak of color unknown to a painter’s pallet, and when the wind touches them, magic.

Nature is an organized confusion that comes together with color.  To be able to walk alone in these fields, to watch the approaching storms, to hear the movement of the river, and to feel the wind is nothing less than perfection.  I now paint everyday and take photographs by the hundreds.  I have found my garden.

John A. Roof

Monday, April 07, 2008

Personal Statement         

John A. Roof

The soul of man is good, evil or confused.    I have looked hard in recent years at nature’s soul and see only good and giving.  I have been told by others, after looking at my art work, that I am the artist of Nature’s Soul.  I can sit for hours on the San Marcos river watching the wind in the trees, the colors changing with the sun and clouds, and listen to the water flow over the rocks offering a drink to nature’s thirst..  I watch the winter wheat grow from a seed to the lush carpet of green waving its beckoning call to those who understand, then with time watch as it becomes nature’s gold treasure.  Nature asks for little and gives considerable to the human condition.  

Bio of John A. Roof

Bio John A. Roof
Born in Coshocton, Ohio, January 14, 1949, I noticed fairly early that something was different.  I wanted to fit in, but I was always just outside the circle looking in.  I loved to spend my time looking at almost anything.  My parents would always say “John, wake up.”  I remember once when I was on a Boy Scout camp out in the winter and snowed it heavily.  I sat by the fire all night listening to the snow hitting the ground and watching it glimmer in the fire light as it fell from the sky. When daylight came I walked off into the woods and marveled at what lay before me.  My Grandfather Bible was able to sit down and draw the face of anyone.  Mother could put colors together and would work on an art project till it was finished.  This is where my art education started.
Starting college at Port Huron Junior College in Port Huron, Michigan as a business major, I was only a business major one semester.  I took an art coarse to get my grades up and never looked back.
I spent my summers in Cimarron, New Mexico, at Philmont Scout Ranch.  I could walk for hours looking at the trees, sky, and mountains.  Sometimes it was like the earth was put here just for me to see the true beauty.   I also watched the sunrise from the top of a 12,000 foot mountain.  I did this often--the colors seen cannot be painted.  I then transferred to Texas Tech University, in Lubbock, Texas.  This is the land of the big sky--not much else, but boy, do they have sky.
I graduated, got married and we moved to Houston, Texas, where I worked as the retail store manager of Texas Art Supply on Montrose.   We started our family and it became harder and harder for me to find time to paint, so I would draw and began to build furniture.  This became my artistic outlet.  We raised three children, and time for art got less and less, but always there was this thing of looking and watching.  I was a voyeur of the world around me.  When my youngest graduated from high school, I had had enough.  It was our time.  My wife and I started the good life.  We bought the general store in Staples, Texas, and restored antique furniture.  I fished everyday on the San Marcos River, watching, listening and enjoying the beauty given to us.  Then one day I was looking at the corn fields behind the shop.  I found a piece of plywood and some spray paint.  I have not stopped painting. 

Nature's Soul

video
This is my art and my soul