John T. Ward

 
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By Tim Behuniak

After working in law enforcement for three years, one night John T. Ward of Saranac Lake had a realization that a life invested in the arts is what would really make him happy. So, he went back to school and got a masters degree with a certification to teach art through St. Lawrence and SUNY Potsdam. He also received a masters in illustration from Syracuse University. His illustrations have appeared in children’s books, Sesame Street magazine, National Review magazine, and more. Other paintings have hung or now hang in the Norman Rockwell museum, the U.N., the Pentagon, the U.S. Embassy in Swaziland, and more. 

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So what makes his Norman Rockwell-esque paintings so unique? Perhaps it’s because Ward’s influences and style span across the board. “My favorite kind of paintings are impressionistic, but most of my work is realistic,” said Ward. “I love brush strokes, Van Gogh’s work, and Rockwell’s work. And I’m not a giant Jackson Pollock fan but find myself throwing paint at my canvas.” Looking at one of Ward’s paintings - usually a candid moment of someone’s life frozen in time with light, colors, and shadows captured beautifully on canvas - it’s quite easy to see a smattering of all these artists and more in the final piece.

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In addition to paintings and illustrations, the artist also carves ice, designs houses, and builds furniture. Ward says, “My surroundings often dictate in my mind how a certain subject should look.” 

See more of Ward’s work or commission your own painting by visiting his facebook page.