John Berry’s love of nature began when he was a child, growing up in the desert areas surrounding Sparks, Nevada. He spent his young years chasing coyotes and jackrabbits through the sagebrush. As a youth, hiking and fishing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains refined his love and appreciation of the natural world.
John graduated from BYU in 1992, with a BFA degree in Illustration. Following a successful freelance illustration career, working for such clients as the U.S. Postal Service, Johnson & Johnson, The Wall Street Journal and Prudential Life, he was brought back to creating the images of his youth.
John is known primarily for painting the western desert areas of Utah and Nevada; most of these works are devoid of the sign of man. He employs shapes and form to create paintings that are filled with space and silence.
John has said, “In creating a painting, I try to emphasize the elements I want and disregard the rest. Often the landscape is a mass of abounding confusion, I work to prune it, bring to it some sort of order. I may try to capture an effect of light, a pattern of color, or a rhythm of line and form as the main focus of a piece. Creating a close likeness to the subject is of lesser importance, mimicking nature is not my objective.
"My main design is the accentuation of nature. The small sketches I paint on location are not meant to be finished pictures, but ideas for larger canvases.”
John won a Purchase Award in 2011 and a Merit Award in 2009, from the Springville Museum of Art. He also won a Jurors Award for his painting, “Entering Kolob,” from renowned art scholar Peter Hassrick, Director of the Institute of American Art at the Denver Art Museum. This painting was featured in the show and book, “A Century of Sanctuary: Zion National Park,” at the St. George Art Museum. His work is also featured in the book, “Painters of Utah’s Canyons and Deserts,” by Donna Poulton and Vern Swanson.