Potter was raised in the Upper Great Lakes country – on and off the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Indian Reservation in northern Wisconsin – where he grew up with an abiding love for the natural world in the forests of the Great Northwoods.
Drawn to the arts from childhood, John went on to graduate from Utah State University, earning Degrees in painting and illustration. He then spent twenty years as an award-winning illustrator before committing his attention to painting full time in 2002.
Of his work, Potter says, “Painting for me is a form of communication with our Creator, and of gratitude as well; for the life and beauty brought forth on this earth, especially in our remaining wild places. Because of this, I feel a sense of responsibility for the privilege of painting, for the gift of the craft. Many painters are out there trying to be heard – I paint to listen.”
Often painting en plein air, John brings his small outdoor studies home, where they are then used as reference to create his larger studio works. Working directly from nature, he firmly believes in the all-pervading divinity found in the natural world and is always striving for an honest expression of light and color. John spends many hours in the field, observing and studying light, mood, atmosphere, the land and sky. He carries paints and a sketchbook whenever possible, travelling extensively – but his favorite subjects remain the rugged mountain scenery of the American West.
“When I step outside to paint, my intent is to observe and to borrow from nature, in order to orchestrate a moment of light, color, and my own emotional and intellectual responses to these on canvas,” states John. “My hope is that the viewer may see the world through my eyes for a moment and gain an appreciation for the quiet dignity to be found in the wild, and hopefully, then, share a desire to help preserve this good earth that belongs to us all, and to our children’s children.”
John is a member of the Northwest Rendezvous Group, The Salmagundi Club and a Signature Member of the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters (RMPAP).
Potter has participated in shows and exhibitions throughout the U.S. and abroad, and his work hangs in private collections across the country and around the world.