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John Baughman

Growing up in rural Western Michigan, John was the oldest of five children. There were no artists in his family, but he was interested in drawing at a very young age; he differed from most young artists in that he wanted to be experimental rather than ordinary. John’s father was an executive for GM, and hoped his son would grow up to be an engineer. John loved to draw cars, and entered the contest that the company held every year to design autos for the future. Airplanes were something else he enjoyed drawing. After high school, John left for college which he says was a big mistake. He quit and joined the Navy where he was sent to Viet-nam. There is no doubt in his mind that this experience influenced his painting. Of his art, John says, “Art is the core of my life.” When viewing his abstract paintings, it is clear that he is not locked into one thing. Oils play a very important role in his art, but John art is continually experimenting using new mediums. To say he is multi-media is almost an understatement. He is still an “out of the lines painter,” and feels that it is very important for an artist to be willing to take a risk. An innate sense of arrangements and space plus his use of the color palette, which is all over the place, cause John’s work to con-stantly change. A subject that he has painted, he may readdress, and it will look completely different. Inspiration for his art is all around him. Sometimes he finds it run-ning between his legs when he is standing in a stream or perhaps looking at the beauty that surrounds him where he lives. As time has passed, his artistry has evolved into a more sophisticated look with his paintings now having more layers and texture. John hopes that people viewing his art will find order and peace. John and his wife, Janet, raise sport horses on their farm, and train them to be dressage (disciplined form of exhibition) horses. They feel the same passion for these animals as they do for their artwork. John still loves sports, and fishes as often as he can. Both he and his wife are golfers. Assuming the title of “sports uncle,” John spends several evenings watching his three nephews play baseball. And still hugely important in their lives are their three grown children, who live in various parts of the country. Janet remains John’s largest influence in his artwork. He feels there are so many great artists that he it is difficult for him to choose favorite a favorite, but he does love Mark Rothko’s work and emulates small elements. He also greatly admires Conrad Marcarelli.

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