“One Gallon”

2220057 - "One Gallon"

One Gallon with Print

Print Left, Original Right

Manhattan Beach Pier

2220060 - Manhattan Beach Pier

Manhattan Beach Pier

The Manhattan Beach Pier is located just south of Los Angeles, CA. Close to LAX, but seemingly a lifetime away. This beach, along with many others along the Pacific Coast Highway, are where the heart and soul of Southern California live. It’s no wonder why so many songs and movies have used them as their muse.

Growing up as a boy on the opposite side of the country, a son of two crazy Southern California kids, I soaked up the feelings through stories and spending summer vacations at Grandma & Grandpa’s house in Orange County.

Manhattan Beach Pier​, 2018
Acrylic on stretched canvas
48 x 60 x 1.5 inches

2220060 - Manhattan Beach Pier

Manhattan Beach Pier II​, 2019
Acrylic on stretched canvas
24 x 36 x 1.5 inches


I recently made a trek back to L.A. and had the opportunity to visit Manhattan Beach and spend a long afternoon with my toes in the sand and surf. I felt centered again. Afterward, I remembered why I hate real rush hour traffic. In Boise, people get up in arms if you have to wait 15 minutes in traffic. After melting in my car for a bit, I finally broke free from traffic.

The following day I was able to drive up and down the Pacific Coast Highway, to Malibu and Santa Monica. Even though I didn’t grow up in Southern California, I can’t help but feel a connection, assumingly passed down the generations. A piece of me will always think of it as home.


I love what you've done with your hair

I‘m a visual learner, big surprise, so for me to understand how something relates to another, having those visual aides really help me out. Especially when it comes to art. I remember when I used to work at a framing shop while I was in college, we sold prints mostly, then framed them to order. Well, just about every time I had to frame a Mark Rothko I’d always think to myself, “I don’t get it, a kid could do that.” I didn’t know any better. I had never been in the same room as an actual Rothko. The day I was finally in the pressence of a Rothko, I finally understood what that print couldn’t convey. The sheer majesty and awe of overwhelming fields of emotion, the color, the depth. It crept into my soul. Having a print of a Rothko is like having your vacation photo from paradise posted on your fridge. It’s a memory of a feeling. We satiate our desires with these replicas. I mean, we all can’t live in paradise everyday or else it wouldn’t be paradise any longer. And it’s certainly not like just anyone can afford, let alone have enough room, to own their very own Mark Rothko for their own private collection.

This day & age, with shopping online and doing just about most activities through our mobile devices or computers, all we do is see flat screens and our brain fills in the gaps. I’ve ordered enough things through the internet, only to end up saying, “This ain’t what I bought!?” So I understand the importance of “Real Life” and that nothing will replace the physical experience of being up close and personal with a work of art. With all of that in mind, these photos attempt to illustrate the physical form in terms of scale, as well as interior lifestyle environments rather than neutral museum vacuums.
Paintings & Photography by Justin W John

Bucket Series

Duotone Bucket Series
©2019 JUSTIN W JOHN | JWJ-WPU. All rights reserved.

This series of painting buckets started off with a bit of crass humor and metaphor, innocent really, but the series has started taking on new meaning for me. After having time to myself in the studio with these pieces, the metaphor has become that of the vessel, an object or tool to carry another from one place to another. Our cars are vessels, our bodies are vessels, and our minds are the most powerful of all vessels.

I’m not saying these buckets are our brains. That thought suddenly aligns the context more with The Wizard of Oz and the Tinman to me. Or wait, I guess that was the scarecrow…. oh well. What do these buckets represent to you?


Born from urban slang, “thirst trap” or “thirst bucket,” represents a derogatory viewpoint of someone’s character. I find this term humorous yet disturbingly titillating. When I hear it, several visuals come to mind.

As I type, I just imagine this huge bucket, bone dry with tumbleweeds bouncing around it’s dusty pale bottom. Or does this bucket contain all the excretions of said thirsty folk sitting around with tongues out all the time? It’s possibly overflowing with a flood of saliva-like water. Hot (my Paris Hilton impression).

I’ll say some might be
others portraits…
Who is which?

Well, that’s half the fun…
sn’t it?

The slang context applies to a person, which is the first part of the mind f***. It’s not a “thing” any longer, or rather it’s taking the context of the person and dehumanizing them. Subjecting them to a soulless existence, so in that sense, one can grasp the degrading nature of the wordsmith’s tongue.

I mean, when was the last time you got all warm inside when someone referenced you as an inanimate object? Exactly, no one ever likes the idea of being referred to as something trivial, common, or lacking a pulse.

Then there’s the introduction of a bodily functions, then one could also go as far as to link this to a sexual context in terms of genitalia. Referencing a dry [censored]. You know what I mean.

Bucket, something to put things in. Usually one thinks of a bucket as something fairly large that holds a lot of things or material. Bringing it back to reference a loose woman, one who has had too many sexual partners and has now been cast aside for being too promiscuous.

2220057 - "One Gallon"

“One Gallon”

Born from urban slang, “thirst trap” or “thirst bucket,” represents...


Supposedly originated in the bronx and can have the following meanings; See Also Thirst.

  1. The act of being overly anxious for someone or something. Waiting for something with anxiety.
  2. Not being able to wait, too hyped up, and typically over something small or something that doesn’t need all the attention that is being given.
  3. Repetitively askin’ for something although you know it’s coming or on its way.

A form of lust of or want of members of the opposite sex [or same, if you’re gay, obviously]. This term can refer to both males and females.

  1. Someone who is desperate. A thirsty person is constantly looking for a person to date.
  2. Very eager to say or do something.
  3. Desire, greed, obsession, or lust for an object or person characterized by over eagerness or obsessiveness that is obvious to everyone around you.


I had been hearing the term used a lot, thrown around social media, tv and whatnot. And it just stuck in my head, ya know? It had a certain ring to it, plus it has a hard K in it. Ask any comedian, anything with a hard K sound is gonna get a laugh.

The images began to appear in my mind. Now at the time, I was currently in my abstraction, especially smearing and pouring paint, so it came as a perfect transition back into mixing abstract and pop art. Obviously, the first image to come to mind was that of a paint bucket. Pretty BASIC too, I know. Not even realizing it, I began on the outline of the first bucket, it wasn’t until I had completed it that I realized I was instinctually re-envisioning Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans for a new generation.

Duotone Bucket Series
  1. “One Gallon” Thirst Bucket Series 2018
    Acrylic and ink on stretched canvas
    Matte and gloss varnish
    12 x 12 x 1.5 inches
  2. “Ten Quarts” Thirst Bucket Series 2018
    Acrylic, ink, and spray paint on stretched canvas
    Matte and gloss varnish
    24 x 24 x 1.5 inches
  3. “4.16 Overflow Gallons” Thirst Bucket Series 2018
    Acrylic and ink on stretched canvas
    Matte and gloss varnish
    20 x 20 x 1.5 inches
  4. “Galvanized 7L” 2019
    Acrylic and ink on stretched canvas
    Archival varnish
    20 x 20 x 1.5 inches