John Sloane wanted to be an artist from the time he was able to hold a pencil. At the age of four, he was filling every available scrap of paper with drawings. As he went through school, teachers were quick to recognize the boy's ability and encourage him to develop his talents. While still a teenager, he decided on a career as an illustrator.
Instead of seeking formal art training, John entered college to pursue a liberal arts degree. In his spare time, he studied the works of great American artists and illustrators, developing his skills in painting and composition. Shortly after his graduation, he began to obtain free-lance commissions and has since developed a loyal clientele of publishers and collectors.
After he married, John and his wife Mary Anne purchased an old farmhouse and proceeded to renovate the badly neglected structure into the Victorian dreamhouse they had always wanted. “Moving to the country was the best thing we ever did”, he says. “The environment is a wonderful inspiration to my work. I have always been fascinated by the beauty of the countryside and the changing seasons, and the land offers me an inexhaustable source of subjects. When I paint a meadow or a country road, I feel as though I am in the painting. I want to portray the joy I feel for the American countryside and express a sense of timelessness and universality in the land. I love the changing seasons and the interrelationship between nature and the man-made environment. There is nothing prettier than the color of a red barn in the sunlight against a blue sky filled with white clouds. To me, the image is purely American”.
Today, John continues to paint at Hearts Haven, as he and Mary Anne have named their farmhouse. Long country walks with their English Setter are a favorite pastime. “I am always on the lookout for new subjects”, says John. “Familiar scenes can change dramatically with the movement of light and at different times of the year. There is always something new to be seen. I want to create an awareness of the little things that we often take for granted.”
John sees no basic difference in the way people were and the way they are today. “Although the clothes we wear and the way we travel have changed radically in the past century, I believe people are essentially the same on the inside. Love is still the greatest force on earth”.