My name is John Mangels and I am an abstract expressionist painter in Utah. I use a number of mediums to create my paintings including watercolor, acrylics or oil and cold wax. The theme for my work is “Abstract Reality and Beyond”.
My paintings can be characterized by the use of bold colors, high contrast and expressive brush strokes. My paintings express the feeling and emotion that I had when they were created. The abstract, non-objective nature of my work allows the viewer to interpret the paintings through their own experiences and emotions.
The landscape around our home in Southern Utah is a land of bright colors, unique shapes and varied textures. These features generate a dynamic energy that I try to incorporate into my into my paintings in order to create a unique feel that expresses my joy of living in southern Utah.
My art is a journey and it will continue to evolve. The goal of this journey is to continue to discover new ways to express my inner feelings through painting. I hope you will see this evolution as you enjoy my paintings.
I began my artistic journey after I retired from a successful career in engineering, manufacturing and sales and marketing and moved to St. George in 2007. I was always interested in art and began taking watercolor classes from a local artist, who not only taught me the techniques of watercolor painting but also introduced me to other painting mediums and art styles as well as teaching me the principles of artistic design.
I began painting “traditional” watercolor landscapes, but that quickly progressed to painting in the “West Coast” style of watercolor. This was the beginning of my journey to abstraction. From here my landscape painting style began to evolve into an abstracted landscape style and then into non-objective abstraction.
Along the way, I added acrylics and then oil and cold wax to my painting “toolbox”. At this time, I was also introduced to the surrealism and abstract expressionism movements of painting. I embraced the abstract expressionist style with its bold and expressive brush strokes and its loose, improvisational feel. As a life-long introvert, the expressionist style of painting allows me to express myself in ways that I never could before I started painting in this style.
Through this journey I have taken classes and workshops from a number of local, regional and nationally known artists who all have contributed to my artistic skill and knowledge and have helped me find my artistic voice. I am a signature member of the Dixie Watercolor Society and a member of the Southern Utah Art Guild. I have served on the board of both organizations.
Solo Show at the St. George Art Museum – “Abstract Reality and Beyond” – July – September 2021
Featured Artist at Arrowhead Gallery - February 2021
Featured Artist at Gallery 35 – August 2018
Featured Artist at Arrowhead Gallery - September 2016
Honorable Mention for “Adventure” – Red Cliff Gallery Show – “Colors of the West”
Third Place for “Hop Scotch” – Red Cliff Gallery Show - “Only Abstraction” – June 2021
Honorable Mention for “Circulation” – Red Cliff Gallery Show – “Capturing the Light” – January 2020
Honorable Mention for “Pumpkin Spice” – Red Cliff Gallery Show – Gift of Art” – November 2019
First Place for “Overlap” – Red Cliff Gallery Show - “Only Abstraction – July 2019
First Place for “Springtime Fantasy” – Red Cliff Gallery Show – “Spring” – March 2019
Honorable Mention for “Winters Night” – Red Cliff Gallery Show – “Color of Winter” – January 2019