My name is João Magalhães, which is Portuguese for John Magellan. I was born in Jacutinga, a tiny town in the southern part of the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil, the oldest of three siblings. The inhabitants of the town are mostly of Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish heritage, as is our family.
As a young child, one of my favorite interests was drawing. I dreamed of learning how to paint with oils, but opportunities in our little town were non-existent. Fortunately, when I was fifteen, our parents decided to relocate the family to Pouso Alegre, where we would have access to better education. In our new town, we immersed ourselves in extracurricular activities, and I was soon enrolled in oil painting classes, which I attended for three years. I was in heaven.
However, as time passed, other responsibilities took precedence: military service and then college, graduating in 1987 with a degree in law. The summer of 1989 saw me in school in California, studying techniques for teaching English as a second language (ESL), followed by a trip to Oklahoma in the fall, where time with friends helped with my language skills and understanding of American culture. Upon returning to Brazil, I started my own business, a school offering classes in English, Spanish, and art. Establishing the school opened the door to acceptance in a prestigious two-year educational program in small business administration, run by the government agency SEBRAE. While operating the business for ten years, I became increasingly compelled to further my education. In 2000, I was accepted into the master’s program in Teaching English as a Second Language at the University of Central Oklahoma, in the quaint town of Edmond.
Leaving Brazil was a painful and difficult decision, but determination and faith in God won out. After much preparation, I landed in Oklahoma City on May 11, 2001 to start summer school.
Soon after graduation in 2003, The Language Company agreed to sponsor a work visa and sent me to Pennsylvania in January of 2004 to work in one of their branches as the Director of Admissions and as an ESL instructor. I remained on the job with The Language Company until the end of October 2018. By that time, it had become clear to me that art should finally take center stage. This was the beginning of a new chapter in my life as a full-time artist.
It is important to mention a date of deep gratitude, April 22, 2016, when I was sworn in as an American citizen. Counting all the blessings along the way would be impossible, but the journey goes on.
On Cape Cod, MA, I am represented by the Julie Heller Beach Gallery in Provincetown.
I work with oils because they translate into a better interpretation of the world around me.
Whatever pleases my eyes, touches my heart, and brings me joy holds potential for a painting. I am especially fascinated by contrasts of light and shadow and the ways we can use color to convey depth, mood, and shapes.
Barns and rural scenes spark my imagination and fascinate me. I find great peace and contentment as I create these paintings. Perhaps I was a farmer in another life? Oil on canvas 9x12 framed with a black and gold plein air frame, available through the artist.
Seasons in life and in nature are constantly changing regardless of our feelings. These buildings bathed in the late afternoon light are part of the Winterthur estate in Delaware. The Fall colors will soon turn into muted winter tones. Through all seasons, Winterthur remains a beautiful and welcoming place. Oil on linen canvas 11x14 framed with a plein air frame, available through the artist.
The work week is coming to the end. The Amish wrap up the day in preparation for the Sabbath. We stopped near Soudersburg to do a little shopping. On the way back home, we took some backroads which brought us in close contact with the community. Oil on linen canvas 11x14 framed with a gold plein air frame. Available through the artist.
Lancaster County with its Amish community is very peaceful to me. Day trips to that area have inspired several paintings, including this winter scene. I hope these works will bring you the serenity and contentment I find in creating them. Oil on linen canvas 11x14 framed in an espresso plein air frame and available through the artist.
The Galo de Barcelos, or the Barcelo Rooster, a national symbol of Portugal, represents honesty, integrity, trust, and honor. It is one of the folk tales of the rich Portuguese traditions. Oil on linen canvas 9x12 in a white floater frame, available through the artist. For more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
When we are in our heads and thinking about how difficult we have it, we ca greatly benefit from looking around us and considering how other people make a living, like the fishermen who depend on the ocean to survive. “Fresh Lobsters,” oil on linen canvas 11x14 and framed in a PleinAir frame, available through the artist. For more information, please contact me at email@example.com.
I would like to keep you posted on new paintings and new adventures!