Biography

Here is my chance to tell you something about myself. I’m am a little strange by the world’s standards, so maybe it will be slightly entertaining.

My journey as an artist has been a joyful one, full of twists and turns, but always something unexpected.

I was born in Mesa, Arizona, November 9, 1967, and my family moved to Orem, Utah in 1984 when my Dad was hired as the football coach for the local high school.

Being the son of the football coach brought its usual expectations, but I was an anomaly – all I wanted to do was paint! I played football for my father, but the mountains were so beautiful and I would often drift into my artistic dreamland to the frustration of my teachers. The world is a beautiful and interesting place for an artist!

After high school I was offered art scholarships to Brigham Young University. I started out as an art major, but my rebellious nature didn’t conform to an establishment that encouraged contemporary abstract art. I was determined to do it my way without compromise; I like traditional art! This non conformity has often put me at odds with the art world, but I have since learned that an artist must be fiercely independent – to have a unique personal vision.

Upon graduation I felt discouraged. What had I truly learned from five years in art school? It was about then that I learned the “Grand Master Key.” This key would put me on a path to truly learn the principles of painting and prepare me for what I would do in life.

I was married, starting my young family and had no idea how I could make a living as an artist. I spent the next eight years learning to be a financial advisor, selling annuities and investments. That wasn’t easy for a right brain person like myself. I didn’t mind it, but ached to be able to do what I had studied and prepared to become my whole life. I spent every extra hour and late nights and weekends studying my craft.

When I had enough money saved I decided to try my hand at painting full time. My wife and I decided to take the risk. But, after two years of struggling and being a true “starving artist” I wondered, “What have I done?”

Just as I was about to throw in the towel I was invited to show my art in a prestigious gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona. They sold everything I sent them and there was hope again. During all of this I was learning more about myself as an artist.

All was going well until Y2K and the 9/11 Attack and the art market went sour. This artist life was not easy. How was I going to support a family? Then fate came into my life again, as I was contacted by a retired former executive from Ford Motor Company with the idea of starting a business to market my artwork – the McNaughton Fine Art Company was born!

It’s been almost twenty years since my career began. I spent most of those years painting landscape paintings and in the last six years have done more patriotic and religious subjects. I paint what inspires me, whether it is a soft landscape, a patriotic vision, or a scene from the life of Jesus. I do what I love and don’t worry about what anyone thinks.

This journey has been beautiful, spiritual, and heart wrenching at times. My art has been written about by critics from New York, London, Italy, France and around the globe and at home. I am hated and loved for what I do, but this I know – art is the way I communicate how I feel about the world around me. I use my landscape painting as a way to show what I find beautiful and it relaxes me. I need that in a world that is full of commotion and distress. I love beautiful places and I hope to share that through my art.

I also love teaching and sharing what I know. I hope you will take this chance to seize the opportunity to develop your gift and become the artist you were meant to become.

Let’s paint something beautiful!

Jon McNaughton