John Burrows
I grew up in a large, uproarious family in the San Diego area. My father was a building designer and contractor developing primarily commercial projects. When I was 8 years old I came down with polio but luckily, the effects were small and over time I was able to work out any atrophy. My father was concerned about motor skills and constantly had me carving, or drawing, or painting and even making beaded hat bands and belts. It worked, and my eye-hand coordination has been excellent ever since. More importantly, I became infatuated with the arts at an early age. Initially, following in my father’s footsteps I thought I wanted to be an architect but over time, found out that my “Achilles heel” was math. In high school and college I took several art classes, eventually being accepted into the Los Angeles Art Center College of Design. Although focused on design, I still had many art classes; water color, acrylic illustrations, figure drawings and even a bit of photography. After graduation I worked for a couple of architectural firms and in 1975 started my own commercial interior design company focused on banks, offices, schools, retail stores and exhibits. As much as I enjoyed design, that became my business and art became my passion. A one point I had a design office with a small gallery in front showing my own paintings and for several years I exhibited my work in juried shows from San Diego to La Jolla, Jackson Hole, Vail and Beverly Hills. After 35 years, I closed my design office to pursue my art career full time and I have never looked back. Initially I used acrylic paints, but another artist friend of mine suggested I try oil paints. Eureka! Once again, I have never looked back. Oil is so vibrant and the paint stays wet while I work it. I loved impasto painting with large brushes that enhanced my impressionistic works. Wanting to be more expressive, I started applying my paints with large drywall knifes which I call “blades”. My favorite is 5” wide and my paintings became even wilder with movement and texture. I am told that it is easy to get lost or mesmerized by my paintings as there are always surprises upon second and third viewings. I am constantly engaging with and learning from other artists as we exchange ideas. Today my paintings range from abstract expression to pure abstracts. I never get tired of experimenting with new materials and techniques, in fact I rarely have 5 or 6 paintings that look related although I’m told by patrons that they can always recognize my style. My work has been collected by homeowners and by corporate executives for their offices. I exhibit my work primarily in galleries and also on my website: My wife is also a full time artist and we work out of studios in our home in Southern California. - John Michael Burrows