John was born and raised in the small town of Oxford, NC. From childhood, he
excelled at drawing and painting. After two years of general college in his
home state, he traveled to Los Angeles to earn his BPA degree in illustration
from the Art Center College of Design.
John was a successful illustrator for 31 years, working in Detroit, Cleveland
and finally Pittsburgh where he met and married a cute receptionist named
Noralee. During this period, Buxton worked for several advertising studios
but in 1983, he formed John Buxton Illustration, Inc. On of his clients was
the National Geographic Society (book division and World magazine) where John
developed a fascination with their dedication to documentation and research,
insuring that all artwork was as correct as possible. This impressed on him
the realization that most of his adverting illustration had been “throw away
art” and perhaps there was another type of art that may be held in higher
regard. Thusly, in 1994, Buxton put aside the requests of Art Directors to
begin painting subjects more to his interests and hopefully of more validity.
He wasn’t quite sure, however, with so much to choose from, just which subject
matter he was going to paint.
John soon began exhibiting his new oil paintings, placing two works in the
Birds in Art Show at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. These two paintings
were later reproduced in The Best of Wildlife Art, Volume 2 by Rachael R.
Wolf, published by Northlight Books. John also tried the National Park
Service’s annual competition, Art for the Parks placing in their Top 100 and
included in their traveling show. The Society of Animal Artists elected him
to membership and invited him to exhibit in their national snows. He also
exhibited with the American Academy of Equine Artists before settling into his
true niche—Historical Art.
Buxton’s historical images of the 18th century depicting scenes from the birth
of our Nation, allowing “witness” to momentous events or experiencing everyday
life on the frontier allows American history to come to life. His compassion
and enthusiasm for historical accuracy has propelled him to great heights of
recognition. Numerous museums and historical sites permanently display his
extensively researched paintings. Several documentary files have chosen his
art to enhance their programs. A program, using John’s paintings to inspire
students with our heritage, was developed on disc to be distributed to schools
John’s paintings have been featured within scores of genre magazines. Feature
articles have appeared in US Art magazine, Westsylvania magazine, America’s
First Freedom and more recently, Art of the West magazine in its
January/February 2006 issue featuring John’s paintings and insight into their
creation. The Artists Magazine’s annual Art Competition awarded Buxton’s
painting, How Many Beaver? first place in the 2005 Portrait/Figure division
from over 4,000 entries. It was featured on the cover in December.
In the part, most of John’s art was painted as private commissions. He
endeavors to produce more paintings each year for select shows, such as The
Masters Invitational at the Autry Museum in Burbank, CA, the miniature show at
the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa and the miniature show at Settlers West Gallery
in Tucson. This year, John will also exhibit in the Eiteljorg Museum’s Quest
for the West show in Indianapolis.
He was recently accepted into membership of The Oil Painters of America. He
lives in Pennsylvania with his wife Noralee. They have two children, Bryan
and Megan and will soon be blessed with two new grandchildren.
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