|Painting with John|
|Created by||John Lurie|
|Written by||John Lurie|
|Directed by||John Lurie|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||6|
|Running time||20–24 minutes|
|Production company||Hyperobject Industries|
|Original release||January 22 –|
February 26, 2021
|Related shows||Fishing with John|
Painting with John is an American unscripted television series created by musician, painter, and actor John Lurie. Each episode features Lurie painting watercolors and reflecting on life, music, and art. A six-episode first season premiered on HBO and its streaming subsidiary HBO Max on January 22, 2021. The title alludes to Lurie's earlier show, Fishing with John, from 1991.
Part meditative tutorial, part fireside chat, musician John Lurie shares his philosophical thoughts while honing his watercolor techniques.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date ||U.S. viewers|
|1||"Bob Ross Was Wrong"||John Lurie||John Lurie||January 22, 2021||0.185|
|In contrast to what television painter Bob Ross says, not everyone can paint, according to Lurie. He goes on to lament his abilities to fly a drone to film an elaborate introduction to his new television show, recounts a childhood story involving his father and brother Evan, discusses his thoughts on laughter, and invites the viewer(s) to "write a poem" while viewing the sunset.|
|2||"The Explosion Story"||John Lurie||John Lurie||January 29, 2021||0.215|
|Lurie recounts his cancer treatment and vertigo, while remembering an incident involving him reheating curry with a gas stove. He goes on to show more of his life at home on his undisclosed Caribbean island, enjoying rolling tires down hills, and with his housemates, and recounting the time he met Barry White, who said he was very fond of the Lounge Lizards' album Voice of Chunk.|
|3||"Elephant"||John Lurie||John Lurie||February 5, 2021||0.223|
|Lurie discovers fragment of a tree that resembles an elephant trunk. He discusses his upbringing with his brother and their shared love of Little Walter, and John Coltrane. The background of the art design of the album cover of Voice of Chunk is discussed, with an elaborate tale of Lurie purchasing and photographing an eel. Throughout the episode, Lurie is painting a piece called Elephant, revealed in the end credits.|
|4||"Fame Is Bad"||John Lurie||John Lurie||February 12, 2021||0.171|
|Lurie discusses his thoughts on fame and what he had encountered in his life as a musician and actor: a casual meeting with Gore Vidal, partying with Rick James and Steve Rubell, mentoring Zach Galifanakis, his friendship with Anthony Bourdain, and his collaborations with Jim Jarmusch and Tom Waits.|
|5||"The Disappearance of Chicken Man"||John Lurie||John Lurie||February 19, 2021||N/A|
|Lurie recounts his times with his companion "Leroy" around his village concerning various neighbors and townspeople whom they were convinced were mysteriously disappearing, one of them they nicknamed "The Chicken Man". He goes on to discuss his relationship with his mother, and their collective disgust with the registry of motor vehicles in Massachusetts. The episode ends with a live action/animated mashup of Lurie's artwork and surroundings amongst his song (alias Marvin Pontiac) "My Little Garden Gnome" playing in the background.|
|6||"Finding Rudolph"||John Lurie||John Lurie||February 26, 2021||N/A|
Lurie recounts his friendship with a man named "Rudolph" on the remote island he lives on, and reminisces on their times together, before Rudolph's absence from his life. Lurie and Nesrin set out to reunite with Rudolph while enjoying the countryside. Lurie describes the local tree frogs he hears in their natural habitat and their musical coordination. Lurie wraps up the series discussing how, despite his battles with his illnesses, he happened to meet the series cinematographer Erik leading to a new series and a medium for him to showcase his work, yet just how uncomfortable it made him.The series ends with John Lurie successfully commandeering his drone for his show's introduction and welcoming the viewer to Painting with John. His collective artwork is showcased in the end credits.
The episodes were recorded at Lurie's home on an undisclosed island in the Caribbean.
The series' soundtrack features music by Lurie, who was a founding member of the Lounge Lizards and the creator of Marvin Pontiac.
The series has received positive reviews from critics. Robert Lloyd of Los Angeles Times wrote "Painting With John represents HBO at its most worthwhile: arty and unpredictable." Robert Ito of New York Times described the show as "a meditative and often joyful blend of painting and personal storytelling." On Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds an approval rating of 100% based on 15 reviews, with an average rating of 8.0/10. The website's critical consensus states, "A celebration of art and life through the eyes of a delightful curmudgeon, Painting with John is a surprising, intimate feat of TV joy.".