John Marshall Hickman

   John Marshall Hickman, born April 13, 1949 to James AB Hickman and Mary Louise Hickman in Dayton, Ohio, graduated from Xenia High School in 1967 and joined the Marine Corps for a four year hitch. While still in the Marines, he married Peggy Lee Osman of West Milton, Ohio after his return from the Vietnam war in 1969. John and Peggy were blessed with two children and, at this time, two grandchildren.
   After his honorable discharge from the Marines, John attended several colleges studying fine arts at the Art Institute of Dayton, and commercial arts. He then held several positions in engineering, becoming a therapist latter in life for the criminally insane while simultaneously running the art department at the Forensic Hospital. John produced many paintings in acrylics and drawings in graphite that are now the property of collectors, family and friends. He also painted many wall murals for the State of Ohio while in the state's employ.

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   During his time as a therapist, John became interested in paleontology while searching for a way to unwind. This pastime turned into a full- time passion and his wife Peggy persuaded him to join the Bruckner Gem and Mineral Society of Troy, Ohio. In turn, Peggy became the Editor of the Society's newsletter and John held the office of President.

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   John had found his secret love and was able to expound upon it by being involved in mineralogy and the lapidary arts and its perspective classes. Now, seventeen years later, John along with his wife Peggy have traveled all over the U.S. practicing their hobby. They have explored all aspects of the hobby by mining in several areas of the West, collecting mineral specimens and rough rock. The creation of the intarsias, "quilted stones," was a result of John's attempt to find a way to incorporate his fine arts background with his love of the earth.

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   Color is the main subject in all of the art that John has produced throughout his life, mixed with the appreciation that less is more. He has studied diligently the Colorist of the nineteenth century and the Masters of the avant-garde movement in the twentieth century. As a contemporary abstraction artist, John uses Cubist structuring with a slight flavor of Dadaist breaking into the realm of surrealism. With intarsia, line and structure take on a fading infrastructure, allowing the stone to represent itself in a myriad of explosive colors, likened to the techniques of twentieth century artists Frank Stella and Piet Mondrian.

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   Within the quilted stone, a stark use of black and white moves the eye across the stone creating a tension that only releases with diversity and exhilaration. The intarsia challenges visual perception, appealing to the emotions first, then the intellect. The artist goes beyond the boundaries of artistic constraints and delves into the experimental tones of the new Masters of fine arts, giving the observer's imagination full rein. Each intarsia is a beautiful study of form, texture, and shadow created by nature and expounded upon by the artist, throwing the viewer into a rainbow of colors, hence the name "quilted stones."

Intarsia

Creating beauty
A marriage of stones
A precise meditation
(concentration)
Picturesque manipulation
Salvaging time
Cutting with diamonds
Polishing with care
Nature's beauty enhances
Color and light
A beautiful composition
Worn day or night

By John Hickman

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