John McFarland Biography

john-mcfarland-artistBorn in Madison Wisconsin, I grew up on the family cranberry farm in the northern part of the state. My wife, Barbara and I met in grade school and married when she graduated high school.

Art has always been a major part of our lives and we have been each other's strongest supporter and best critic. My own artistic career began when, as a child, I started drawing to entertain myself during the long, cold Northern Wisconsin winters. After we married I began painting in watercolor and acrylics, then moved on to metal sculpture and jewelry. WE managed the family farm for some time before buying and becoming the sole owners and farming allowed us to pursue parallel careers in art as we had several months of relatively free time during the winters to paint and sculpt. The income generated from our art work provided the means for us to travel, which is another passion of ours. After we sold the farm, we were able to devote ourselves to art year 'round and have since been painting and traveling extensively.

I've had a lifelong fascination with aviation and World War II aircraft which, eventually, led me into aviation art using colored pencils and watercolor. Following several spiritually awakening workshops, I began doing a series of Shamanic portraits in colored pencil which has subsequently morphed into a broader interest in portraiture using pastels. Since I seek out my subjects, looking for faces that reflect the character and life experiences of the people I choose, I do not accept commission work.