My work has evolved over the years; I have gained great
confidence from doing it over and over which allows
me to learn from my mistakes. My wife calls one painting
I did over and over the definitive dead horse but I
certainly learned from it. Even though I went to schools
and workshops, there was no magic wand waved over me,
teaching me how to draw and paint. I've done a lot of
experimenting with my medium. I may have the concept
for a finished painting in mind but along the way a
lot of nice surprises happen. I stretch myself in areas
I haven't been before. Such as the new area of interest
my iris garden.
My art training was at Colorado Institute of Art and
Rocky Mountain School of Art. In addition to these schools
of formal education, I attended many sketch groups.
I was also lucky to be able to take advantage of the
Illustrators Workshops in Monterey Ca. and Tarrytown
NY. The instructors were Alan Cober, Fred Otnes, Mark
English, Bob Peak, Robert Heindel, and Bernie Fuchs.
The dynamics of the Monterey workshop really got me
fired up. All my heroes in one spot and a nice encouragement
from Bob Peak really made me feel I was on the right
My start in art prints came when I was showing at a
gallery in Santa Fe. A famous painter and print maker,
Frank Howell, wanted to meet me; after being introduced,
Frank invited me to his studio. He said that my work
would really transfer well in prints and encouraged
me to look into the process. I decided the serigraph
process was the way to go at the time. I have 3 limited
edition serigraphs which are so richly detailed and
brilliant in color that you can't tell them from the
originals. And then along came the newest printing process,
the Giclee. Again it captures all the bright rich color
as well as the subtle nuances
My style is in the Impressionistic way of seeing color and
pattern. Some of my favorite artists are Lautrec, Degas, and
the Spanish painter, Sorolla. One of the contemporary artists
I really admire is Richard Schmid. Some of my favorite subjects
to paint are little girls with dolls ( we have posed our niece
with our favorite dolls from our collection), turn of the
century settings, especially school yard groupings of children,
Native Americans in their beautiful costumes, and floral
Iris. I have a large collection of old photo albums as well
as photo postcards that I have been collecting for years;
not only do the pictures inspire me, but the notes written
on the backs of the cards tell a tale as well. Our iris gardens
drive me nuts in the summer when they are a riot of color.
For a start, I like a canvas with a lot of texture. I paint
it with flat house paint; after it dries, I lay in my drawing
with colored pencils. To give a looseness to the drawing,
blur the edges a bit , I go in with paint thinner. When that
dries, I apply oil pastel right over the colored pencil lay
in. From there I start layering with chalk pastels. I'm most
comfortable using dry mediums because of the control it gives
me. However, by adding the paint thinner, I then have a fluid
medium and can move the colors around large areas easier.
"Fourth of July Girl" is my favorite painting.
The old photo I was working from showed a summer gathering
of relatives and friends circa 1912; even though she was a
small area of the over all picture, her little face jumped
out at me. I have the original framed and hanging in our home
and will never sell it. I call her my "mascot".
My greatest accomplishment was being in the Arts For The
Parks two years in a row. I had read about the contest in
an art magazine in 1988; Richard Schmid had just won the $100,000
prize for a painting he'd done of Rocky Mountain National
Park. I submitted my Painting called "Rocky Mountain
Hush" and it was in the Top 100 that year. The next year
I entered in the Historical category with my painting called
"Visitors at Morning Glory Pool"; again I made the
Top 100. Quite a feat when you consider there were between
2300 and 2500 entries. The paintings spent a year traveling
with the National Parks Tour to various galleries across the
US. Upon returning to Jackson Hole Wy., they sold.
I talk a lot about my work; people will come to me wanting
to see what I'm so excited about. When I show them the originals
and the available prints, they catch my enthusiasim. I also
have my web site which is a mini-gallery of currently available
I'd say, find a subject matter you really love and draw and
paint it again and again. Assume that you will never solve
the mystery of it and must come at it in as many ways as possible.
Don't waste time on subjects you don't enjoy doing or have
no real interest in. That will show in the work.
Working from his collections of old photo postcards, vintage
clothing, antique dolls and old family albums, John creates
vivid paintings that have the look of batik. He achieves this
illusion by mixing colored pencils, oil and chalk pastels
with paint thinners. All of this is applied to a black canvas.
Upon closer inspection one can see the years of study and
the very personal approach John brings to his subject matter.
Although primarily self-taught, John attended the Colorado
Institute of Art and Rocky Mountain School of Art. He has
also attended two of the Illustrators Workshops; consequently
he has had instruction from some of the top illustrators of
the day such as Robert Heindel , Bernie Fuchs, Bob Peak and
John has found some kindred spirits in the work of contemporary
illustrators as well as the Impressionists
and the Russian Impressionist Leon Gaspard.
His limited edition serigraphs depicting his niece with antique
dolls have been represented in Doll Reader Magazine and Contemporary
Doll Collector Magazine.
His original paintings of Rocky Mountain National Park and
Yellowstone National Park were honored to have been included
in the Top 100 of the Arts for the Parks contest in 1989 and
John's originals and prints are in numerous private collections
on the coasts as well as Texas, Missouri,New York, Colorado
He lives in Erie Colorado, a little hamlet of peace and quiet,
where he is currently working on his new series entitled "Turn
of the Century America" which depicts the gentle times
gone by. Also he has a series called "Victorian Indians",
depicting the Native American posing in photographers studio
settings in the early 1900's. These have been reproduced in
Arts Coalition of Erie