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 John Thomas Berry  (1948 - )

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Lived/Active: California/New Mexico      Known for: animal, Western, wildlife

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John Thomas Berry
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Paderewski Fine Art:
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, John Berry grew up with a passion for horses in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  He resided in southern California for thirteen years before moving to Taos, New Mexico in 1987.  Prior to pursuing a fulltime art career, Berry trained and showed horses professionally.  Following training with Olympic standard riders and instructors, like Gabor Foltenyi and Carol Grant, Berry began a 16-year career as a professional trainer and show rider.  Initially working with hunters and jumpers, he eventually embraced dressage, a discipline he continues to participate in. 

Berry’s passion for horses matches his passion for painting. After mastering the portrait and human figure, Berry began to focus on equine art.  His riding career and his intimate knowledge of the anatomy, movement and spirit of the horse continue to inform and inspire his work.  He finds that the years of riding have provided the necessary discipline and persistence that serve him well in his artistic endeavors.  Berry’s art background includes human figure and portrait study in California with Jack Ragland (listed in Who’s Who in American Art) and Edward Moore in the 1980’s, and in Taos with David Borenstein and Valori Fussell in the 1990s. 

When Berry began to make the transition into painting horses in 1996, he found encouragement and support in his friend and mentor, Lanford Monroe, an internationally known landscape and wildlife painter.  Since then he has devoted himself entirely to equine painting: portraits as well as the horse in the dramatic light and landscape of northern New Mexico.

Artist Statement:
"I have always been deeply moved and inspired by the masterful British Sporting Artists, such as Munnings, Marshall, Stubbs and Edwards and try to follow in that same classical tradition.  Each time I step in front of the canvas, I take time to remind myself that I am here to paint with the greatest degree of awareness and sincerity possible and to be passionate in my desire to create something of excellence and beauty.  My intention is to have each painting be the best that I can possibly produce at that time. When I begin a new piece, I try to determine what the emotional essence of this painting will be. Is it a noble horse standing at attention in a landscape or a racing scene where each of the combatants are pushing themselves to their limits? When I make that determination, that becomes the “theme” of the painting and that is what I hold in my mind as I paint.  For me, a painting has to trigger an emotional response in the viewer or it has missed its mark.  No matter how superbly one’s technique may be, if there is no emotional content, it isn't art.  I wish to continue to grow and stretch as an artist until I can no longer pick up a brush and paint."

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