John Walker and Roxann Moore have collaborated since 1980 under the name Walker Moore.
At one time they painted simultaneously on the same work, but found that taking turns was more compatible with their idea of domestic bliss. Hardly a day goes by that they cannot be found in the studio, passing a painting or paintings back and forth between them a dozen or more times until the total of the additions and subtractions satisfies them equally.
Casein, their medium of choice, is one of the rarest paints in use today, predating the more popular oils and acrylics by centuries. Casein uses the protein content of milk as a binder for the pigments, making it similar in handling and difficulty to the equally unpopular egg tempera. Their compensation comes in the ability to work rapidly and pursue new ideas as soon as they are conceived, an idiosyncrasy that is inherent in the union of collaborating (and often stubborn) minds.
Their goal as painters is simple: to produce an “empty” or “unfinished” painting that demands the creative participation of the viewer to forge a complete meaning or story.
“Frequently Asked Questions”
Some commonly asked questions about Walker Moore architectural paintings (with mercifully short answers):
Q: Where were these painted? Where are these locations?
Is this _________(location)?
A: The artists seldom paint actual places. The images you see are composites made up of bits and pieces from many different places. Often the artists start with something
as simple as the design of a doorway, or the look of a certain shadow and they build the painting around it.
Q: What is casein and will it last?
A: Casein is the least used of the four water media and is a combination of pigments with a milk protein binder (as opposed to the gum arable binder in watercolor, or the polymers in acrylic). It is exceptionally durable, with early examples being almost two thousand years old. To further insure longevity the artists use only archival quality materials and a protective varnish. In addition, they only use paint blends whose pigments are rated “Wool Grade 6” or higher to guard against fading.
Q: How do the artists work together?
A: Usually by taking turns (it is more peaceful that way). One will start a painting and work until they need a break, then the other wiil take over. The paintings are traded back-and-forth from six to a dozen times and each painter has complete freedom to do what they want—even if it means painting over what the other has done. In this way they end up with a “third style” that is a thorough blend of each painter’s hand.
Q: How do they start a painting?
A: Each painting begins with a basic line drawing and a discussion that arrives at a general agreement of what the painting will look like. Of course, new ideas routinely pop up in the course of the work, so no one knows that the painting will look like until it is finished.
Q: How do they know when a painting is finished?
A: When both agree that it is done.
Q: Do they like doors and windows?
(Or “They sure must like… *’)
A: Walker & Moore strive to eliminate unnecessary information that can clutter up a painting. They simply focus on the point of greatest interest and simplify their compositions. Their central purpose is to create the look of an “empty stage” where each person can finish the painting with their own Imagination.