With their signature reflection of trees, of water fowl and sky shining out from marsh sunsets, John Maynor paintings shine their own unique wealth. A rich complement to his work, Maynor's personal story reflects the ancient landscape of creativity's tenacity against odds.

John Maynor paintings take their inspiration from a group of friends held loosely but surely together by their common love of oil painting. Working daily in the citrus groves of Fort Pierce, Florida, John and his friends found reprieve in learning oils. The group was called later the Highwaymen and was an informal association of young and talented African-American painters. They painted Florida landscapes in 1950s through 1960s and 1970s and were selling their paintings from the back of their truck or delivering them right to the doors of businesses and offices.

The sophistication and polish of A.E. Backus' style, adopted by Maynor, collided with the need for speedy production of art. At that intersection of technique and need a rare authenticity was wrought in John Maynor paintings. Particularly heavy palette knife strokes lend depth to oils in his distinct style. His works gained popularity as a style of painting much-desired by Florida natives and vacationers seeking rich and lush expressions.

As an African American during a time fraught with racism, Maynor couldn't simply walk into the art galleries and show his paintings. He couldn't afford or expect to be admitted into schools to hone his craft. So, his work found perfection in the truth of his situation. From a life of need and determination, John Maynor Paintings bypassed the slower, more meticulous methods of established expression with oils and found their niche. He had to be fast in order to produce more works. Though they were worth more than a Black man could expect to get, his works brought needful income. Producing paintings with a high speed, it's known that some of the early Highwaymen works were sold for as less as $25 a piece.

In spite of waning interest in the 70's, Maynor's works have surpassed their initial fame, finding a place on the walls of fine art galleries today. Maynor's life itself colours richly past the lines of racial barriers, shining a light into the halls of established accomplishment. John Maynor paintings now are valued enough to be collector items and long-waiting appreciation of his works has finally come. 


© 2015 by Florida Highway Men Paintings

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