John Burrows grew up in a large, uproarious family in the San Diego area. His father was a building designer and contractor developing primarily commercial projects. When John was 8 years old he contracted polio but luckily, the effects were small and over time he was able to work out any atrophy. His father was concerned about motor skills and constantly had him carving, drawing, or painting and even making beaded hat bands and belts. It worked, and John’s eye-hand coordination has been excellent ever since. More importantly, he became infatuated with the arts at an early age.
Initially following in his father’s footsteps, John thought he wanted to be an architect, but over time he discovered his “Achilles heel” – mathematics. In high school and college he took several art classes, eventually being accepted into the Los Angeles Art Center College of Design. After graduation he worked for two architectural firms and in 1975 started his own commercial interior design company. As much as he enjoyed design, that became his business and art became his passion. A one point he had a design office with a small gallery in front showing his paintings and for several years he exhibited his work in juried shows from San Diego to La Jolla, Jackson Hole, Vail and Beverly Hills.
After 35 years, John closed his design office to pursue his art career full time, and has never looked back. Initially he used acrylic paints until an artist friend of his suggested he try oil paints. Eureka! Once again, he never looked back. He loved the vibrance of oils, and the fact that the paint stays wet while being worked. He loved impasto painting with large brushes that enhanced his impressionistic works. In an effort to be even more expressive, he started applying paints with large drywall knives which he calls “blades”. His favorite is 5” wide, and his paintings became even bolder with movement and texture. John is told that it is easy to get lost or mesmerized by his paintings as there are always surprises upon second and third viewings. He is constantly engaging with and learning from other artists.
Today John’s paintings range from abstract expression to pure abstracts. He never gets tired of experimenting with new materials and techniques. His work appears in private and corporate collections.