We had the good fortune of connecting with John Lintott and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, why did you pursue a creative career?
When I was in college at C.S.U. I did not know what direction I wanted to pursue my study. Because of this, my motivation, and classwork suffered. After about a year, I took time off to just work and to try to figure out what I wanted to do. I worked at a restaurant over the spring and summer and was working 15-hour days 6 days a week. When I would go home at night, I would start drawing. It was the only outlet that put my brain at ease and I discovered what it meant to go into a “flow state”. I made the decision to pursue art and went back to college. As soon as I took my first painting class, I knew that I would paint until the day I died. I had fallen in love with the process, and with getting my brain into a state of flow. It allowed all other aspects of my mind to balance correctly and enabled me to focus on a path that I would follow for the rest of my life. As a child, I was raised to enjoy the outdoors often and with great appreciation. As I continued to paint, my love for the outdoors became a central theme in my work. The act of painting outdoors and seeking new and beautiful places to translate to canvas was a no-brainer. I loved the challenge of learning that painting landscapes presented, and have continued to pursue my understanding of these lessons.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I paint landscapes in oil and have been painting for over 25 years. It has been a passion that I have pursued since about the age of 20. I did not get successful quickly, nor do I consider myself one of the best out there. I do know that I have grown as an artist. That is what I am most proud of. I can look at my work from two years ago and feel that I have improved. I am content and grateful to have a profession where I can constantly learn.
As I progressed through my career, I tried to get into many galleries, and I had never found great success with being accepted into them for representation. My stack of rejection letters outnumbers my acceptance letters a hundred to one. But I always felt that made me want to try harder. It always made me a little hungrier. My failures have been key to my growth.
In the last three years, I’ve had my work accepted to multiple national exhibitions, including the Grand Canyon Celebration of Art, the Colorado Governor’s Art Show, the Oil Painters of America Western Regional Exhibitions, and the Oil Painters of America National Exhibitions. In February of 2022, I was invited to join the prestigious Plein Air Painters of America. A group whose members I have spent my life studying.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would go camping in Western Colorado or Eastern Utah. I would spend about five days making gourmet meals in a disc grill, painting during the days we aren’t mountain biking or hiking, and having drinks around the campfire at night. Camping also means camp games and lots of them. When we have to return to civilization, a Charley Crockett or Lord Huron concert would be a good way to end the week.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have many people to thank when I think of where I am now in my career. First off, my parents. Even though they wanted me to pursue a more lucrative career, they always supported me and my efforts in pursuing my art. Next, my college painting instructor Patrice Sullivan and printmaking instructor James Dormer were instrumental in molding my passion for lifelong learning. Both gave me the insight to enjoy the process and to understand that the process is most important. Lastly, I would like to credit artists Ralph Oberg and Dan Young. These two landscape painters taught me that planning and editing are crucial to making successful paintings. I feel they helped me find the patience I needed to become a better painter by taking my time to fix problematic parts of my landscape paintings and having patience regarding my overall career. They taught me that it is more meaningful to look inward, play the slow game and focus on high learning of the craft than to rush through your career and constantly compare yourself to the success of others.
Image of the artist painting by Michael Hurshman