Artist on the Big Island Chronicle Issue 16 cover and above — John Mydock, who prefers just “Mydock,” got his start with art doing woodwork on impressive yachts in Florida more than 40 years ago. After that he began airbrushing speedboats, motorcycles, and vintage cars and— fast forward to present time in Hawaii—he is now an award-winning wood lathe artist. He embellishes his woodwork with pearling and pyrography and also does paintings. Whatever medium, whether it be wood or canvas, he attempts to capture the essence of Hawai‘i, from its wildlife to its flowers and fauna, to the ocean, to the temperamental volcano and the prevalent goddess Pele. His works are on exhibition through the end of March at the Volcano Art Center Gallery at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
His studio in his Puna Palisades home is ripe with creativity. There is the art, and a plethora of it, ranging from bowls to pearlized mirrors to bright canvases depicting Pele or even Ira Ono, one of Volcano’s more notable fine artists. And then there are the journals. Mydock keeps a whole cabinet full. He keeps a calendar by his desk and writes key words on the calendar, helping him to remember in what journal lies a particular inspiration.
“I log everything in here,” Mydock says. “Most of it is about art, letters, cards, photographs, ideas for bowls. Oh! There’s an idea, and there’s the bowl,” he says, pointing to one of his signature pieces depicting a pu‘eo, or owl..
“There’s the drawing — I saw it —a mind photo, Alex Grey says — that’s your next assignment. If you can see it in your mind …. I’m Indian, I got a vision, if you’re an artist you can manifest that,” he says. “The spark of thought makes mass happen in your mind and it just moves molecules, the atoms around, and tada! This is the tada! The magic. The miracle is we’re witnesses to just see it happen. So, we’re just witnesses, we’re present. We’re in a very peaceful state of mind when we’re creating. We’re not destroyers. We’re not Shiva tearing it down. We’re building it back, we’re dreamers, and it’s all from the dream time.”
Aside from VAC, Mydock’s work can be found at Genesis Gallery International in both the King’s Shops and the Queen’s Market Place in Waikoloa; at Cliff Johns Gallery in Holualoa; and online at mydockstudio.com. — Tiffany Edwards Hunt