Steamboat Springs Data processing at the University of Wyoming looked promising at one time, but when images of art crept into his mind as a child, Jon Madsen couldn't let go as an adult.
For 25 years he played with and configured computers to provide for his family and make ends meet.
But his right-brained antics could no longer be subdued. Science had taken its toll on Madsen.
But in a phone interview Tuesday, Madsen said he tries to converse with amateurs about his art in terms they can understand and relate.
"Art is nature with a mind. If nature has an order, then a picture has an order," Madsen said.
He couldn't explain much of his art because he said he thinks it needs to speak for itself. His words would never do his paintings justice, he said.
"I found that gave me a lot of freedom artistically because I was able to paint for myself without regard for sales," Madsen said.
Teachers in grade school tell students to write like their pencils are video cameras, painting a picture for the reader.
Madsen's effort in trying to recreate a picture with feelings is similar to the video-camera analogy.
"To me it's visual thinking," Madsen said.
"We can think with our eyes. I put everything in visual terms."
For example, light and water behave in many of the same ways.
A stream flowing in a canyon has many of the same elements as a light filtering through the forest.
And Madsen said he has been liberated of these "visual parallels."
Madsen currently teaches drawing, oil and watercolor painting at the University of Wyoming and is a University of Wyoming alumnus with a bachelor's and master's in fine art.
Madsen has shown his work from Texas to Kentucky and has received awards for various shows.
Madsen said he chose sculptor and furniture designer Leland Johnson to accompany his exhibit because of his closeness to the artist and his unique artwork.
"His experimental sculptures and our friendship is the reason that I asked him to have the show with me," Madsen said, adding Johnson's incredible sensibility.
Madsen and Johnson will exhibit their works beginning today at the Depot Art Center.
In an artist statement, Johnson wrote that he works with recycled and native materials of Wyoming to translate personal experiences with the landscape and its creatures, whether functional or not.
"We who have the fortune to reside in the mountain west are imbued with its magnificent sense of space and place," Johnson wrote.
Johnson wrote that he would like to recreate nature's element in closest form with elements of texture, line, size and color.
Johnson is a native Wyoming resident and has worked as a studio sculpture and furniture designer for the past 10 years.