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detail: Signs are taken for wonders •  graphite • entire work 36 x 51 in. / 91.4 x 129.5 cm. • 2011

Earl Davis friend & son and keeper of the estate of the celebrated American painter Stuart Davis • New York • July 9, 2022

Your art speaks for the soul of our nation John - bordering on social realism.

Kari Margolis, master performer, theater director, writer, collaborator, friend • Highland Lake, NY • July 2017

I am often bewildered at how you manage to be a support for so many young and established artists and still remain so prolific. I know you are an inspiration to a great many and I appreciate how you always share my work with your colleagues and have gone out of your way to connect us all together. Honestly your work is a gift to us all. I truly hope we can find the time to make a theatre work that will bring your art to life on the stage. 

Karen Morris, poet, psychoanalyst, collaborator, friend • Narrowsburg, NY • September 6, 2016

Blake and Turner are your truer ancestors. I wonder what makes me say that? Your drawings articulate the difficulty of the artist's position as being vulnerable. Loving anything in this day and age is, well, very risky.

Thyrza Nichols Goodeve, senior art editor of The Brooklyn Rail • October 29, 2017

...your drawings are amazing and powerful. 

Lynn Charlton-Blore, friend • Wales, UK • June 6, 2015

responding to Dominique Nahas' essay on John Tomlinson for the drawing BIG show he curated and in which he exhibited, June 12 to July 4, 2015:

"...and now I see through a glass darkly - love that haematite/ obsidian squeakiness sheen quality of graphite like a bloodline mirror. Would work well printed in glass and even layered John. Ha like a coney island house of mirrors stretching each emotion...fabulous integrity here John -it's the resonance of the brush strokes and calloused calculation of the fingers.

Suzanne Bybee, artist, art writer • 2015

There is light but there is also image, and together, beaming with intent, John Tomlinson’s drawings reach across the room to see if you are paying attention. 

Marcy Hermansader, artist • 2018

referring to "Signs are taken for wonders" in Dark Storms, The drawing, the quote, and the two together - powerful.  I know how to use dark, I think.

But I wish I knew how to use empty space.....

Dominique Nahas, art writer & critic • 2015

John Tomlinson's mark making and imagery plunge us into the depths of his self-reflections and self-disclosures. His visual work alternates between mordant self portraits and a flurry of word+image poems, this part logorrheic / part glossolaic verbal stream + images have neck-bracing emotional velocity. Tomlinson's work is unique in its combinatory power. It recalls the incantatory textual-visual work of the likes of Antonin Artaud, Nancy Spero, Tracy Emin, William Kentridge ( and in terms of intensity reminds us also of the fierce Visionary Heads of William Blake). 

Iesha Anglin, artist • May 2017

I've seen your Night Watch drawings on Instagram! They're really intriguing images. They disturbed me at first glance, but are mesmerizing and less confrontational the longer I sit with them. It's a good quality your work has! I get bored with art that makes me feel indifferent, and your work has no room for any indifferences at all. I have to share them with a friend, who uses ink in ways you use graphite. He would really benefit from seeing them (now that I'm thinking about it). Just out of curiosity, is "The Misery of Men: Rage Series" a current body of work in-progress? lol Also, I could sit with your animation "Festering Rage" on repeat, and have a lot to talk about. It's a very clever integration of technology and drawing. I love it!! It's pretty amazing! 

Allan Rubin, artist, friend • Cochecton, New York, January 14, 2015

You certainly have mastered this drawing technique. But what I most admire is how you have injected drama into these so they rise above the mundanity of most drawings.

Lakea Shepard, artist • North Carolina, February 8, 2015

The Misery of Men...the title alone- wow. From someone who does not believe in complying to the rules of "Art", your work is so inspiring. The thing about working in one medium is that you are constantly being challenged on how to keep the viewers attention, and you do just that.

Robert Yi, artist & art educator • Washington, DC, November 6, 2012 - February 1, 2015

You have enriched my life in countless ways.  You are a true artist, educator, mentor and friend.  We all look up to you as model of a true human being. I  look forward to seeing more of your work. In the drawing class I help teach at American University I show your work to my students.

Ten thousand years of fortunate to our dear John Tomlinson!

Jerry Saltz, art critic • New York, June 1, 2010

" I always think ...'John is such a good writer.' "

Danial Nord, artist • San Pedro, California, October 24, 2009 

Hi John,

Finally back in the swing of things in LA  and spent some time on your website. Glad I did!

Was really pleased to see your beautiful work, combining technical skill with provocative subjects. The real drawing/animation techniques were inspiring. Just wanted to touch base to tell you so, and also to say hello and thank you again for your support during the New York Studio Residency Program visit.  All the best, Danial

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