Born on May 7, 1974, in the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania, Josh Fletcher is a visionary artist of the psychedelic culture. His early work was done in acrylic paint, with his later works being done in oil paint.
Josh’s artistic beginnings started with drawing in high school, where he was introduced to pen and ink drawing and graphic design. He graduated from Garnet Valley High School in 1993. After high school, he attended The Art Institute of Philadelphia, where he studied typography, graphic design, anatomy drawing and perspective, life drawing and figure drawing.
Josh now works with oil paints and mediums on canvas. He starts by painting the outline and shadows of the objects with dark paints. He then articulates the detail of texture on the objects with white highlights before adding layers of pigmented glazes. The final layer is often a white paint applied over the transparent glazes, creating a sense of both depth and clarity of background patterns and foreground objects and subjects. With this process, light and dark, warm and cool, and opaque and transparent paints are applied to create a strong contrast between background and foreground. This makes a strong impression on the viewer.
Josh’s psychedelic visionary style of imagery comes from the desire to explore and know the subconscious and the need to articulate this imagery with painting. The subconscious is expressed through symbolism using landscapes of symmetrical patterns and colors. This is combined with the images of plants and animals. He believes the subconscious mind reveals a deeper awareness and higher truth through the use of the painting medium. With this medium, the process of creating is teaching him how to manifest images that speak to a deeper truth. This process creates a feeling of profound bliss and the need to share his experience with the world.
He was inspired to pursue this creative outlet by the music he has always loved (prog rock, psychedelic, jam bands). The album covers of this music became the inspiration that would inspire his own artistic visions. The purpose of the visions was for him to try to recreate a visual version of what the sound of the music would look like and the way the songs made him feel.
He discovered the live concert experience at jam band shows and electronic dance music parties and festivals. These were the impetus for him to recreate his visions. His paintings reflected the music, as if it was absorbed into the painting. Dancing to the music created even more visions and contributed to the psychedelic aspect of his paintings.
Going on nature hikes and witnessing the beauty of the natural world have also been a large inspiration for Josh’s art and creativity. The sights and sounds of these long hikes became another stimulus for his imagination. It became his mission to capture this beauty through painting and to share his visions with the world.
Above all, Josh’s greatest influences are the visionary and fantastical realism artists: Alex Grey, Robert Venosa, Mati Klarwein and H.R. Giger (to name a few). Their styles and techniques have inspired him to strive to become the visionary artist he is today.