John Moilanen


etching 7x5

Born in Seattle, this nationally known Washington Maritime Artist has exhibited extensively for many years. His unique reflection of the Pacific Coast has earned him a special place in the Public Collections of the Washington State Historical Society, The Washington State Arts Commission, The Seattle Arts Commission and private and corporate collections.

Matthew Kangas, The Seattle Times: "His dam paintings (a series of large-scale oils documenting the dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers) not only document endangered structures, they also recall the Federal Art Projects of the 1930’s and the American Precisionist Painters of the same era. These are not illustrations, however, but are fully resolved aesthetic constructions with all the hallmarks of fine painting: color, line, composition and brushwork." 

The Washington State History Museum: "Moilanen’s dynamic, brilliantly colored works show the power of the sea and of those who make their living on it. His paintings reflect on the local maritime history of our region." 

John Moilanen, one of the finest Northwest artists, was born in Seattle in 1948. He has exhibited extensively for over 30 years, sharing his unique perspective on the Pacific Northwest maritime history, in the public collections of the Washington State Historical Society, the Washington State Arts Commission, the Seattle Arts Commission, Chelan and Grant Counties Utility Districts collections, Puget Sound Energy corporate collection, and Fisher Properties corporate collection. Moilanen also does work on commission, for individuals, businesses, or organizations.

Moilanen’s paintings have been exhibited at the Poriginal Gallery in Finland, the Ira Pinto Gallery in Annapolis, Maryland, the Whatcom County Museum of History and Art, the Maryhill Museum of Art, the Nordic Heritage Museum, and the Soap Lake Art Museum. He has been associated with Fine Impressions Gallery since 1995.

The Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound, and a great variety of ships and boats are recurring themes in Moilanen’s oils, sumi paintings, drawings, and etchings. His works show elements of realism, impressionism, and cubist influences. His inspired use of color makes the mountains, water, and ships glimmer with light.

John says of his work: "My paintings are designed to recast our perception of the present and the past of the Pacific Northwest. They are a true depiction of the static and dynamic forces which are a part of and interact with our environment, a true local tone which reflects our unique local landscape character. These are careful and calculated paintings, each with its own luminosity, continually challenging the viewer as new rhythms are discovered in the fleeting effects of light and color in nature."

We are pleased that Moilanen has recovered from his hand injuries and once again brings the magic of the Northwest landscape to life on canvas and paper. 

Included in the Images of Seattle Exhibition 1985