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.
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.
One of the perks of living in Philadelphia, PA is that we can easily get in the car and escape the grit of the city for the peace and quiet of farmlands and pastures of Lancaster County. You can go for miles without seeing another vehicle. Oil on linen canvas 12x16 framed with an espresso color plein air frame.
Seasons in life and in nature are constantly changing albeit our silence acquiescence. The bare fields bathed in the winter light signal a new cycle. The vibrant fall colors are making way to more muted winter tones. Throughout all seasons, beauty remains. Oil on linen canvas 12x16 framed with a dark espresso plein air frame.
I have been taking trips to the shore since I was a kid. Sometimes it is sunny and busy with tourists, sometimes it is overcast and quiet. No matter the season, I never get tired of it, especially of the sun setting on the horizon. Oil on linen canvas 12x16 framed with a dark espresso plein air frame.
Southern France is very idyllic to me. The area of Luberon inspired this painting and brought back memories of friendship kept alive through the distance and the years. Oil on canvas 12x16 framed in a black floater frame.
A beautiful moment along the Cape Cod Bay invites us for a pause. Boats are mooring, fishermen working away from the public eye. The human activity of the pier infuses the air with smells and sounds. For the carefree souls, a moment of contemplation perhaps. The simple pleasures of life. "Natalina," Oil on linen canvas 12x16 framed in an espresso with gold lip plein air frame, available through the artist. For more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
When we start feeling troubled, we can greatly benefit from looking around us and consider the world in its constant turmoil. Life can be challenging, but there are moments of absolute tranquility, like this barn scene. Life is beautiful, and we are blessed. Can you see it? Oil on linen canvas 12x16 and framed in an espresso brown plein air frame. For more information, please contact me at email@example.com.
I would like to keep you posted on new paintings and new adventures!