Born November 6, 1955 in Los Alamos, New Mexico, John Modesitt began his artistic career in Southern California. In 1980 he moved to New York City to study art more seriously. He was discouraged by the onslaught of the modern art movement dominating the galleries and public venues. He was equally disappointed with the instructors at the schools and their strong slant toward a “non-disciplined” approach to painting. Modesitt decided instead to place his efforts in learning what he could from the deceased traditional masters himself by frequenting the Metropolitan Museum of Art and any museum that would display the type of art that he was interested in. All that needed to be learned in so far as technique and composition was readily available. )
In 1985 he moved to the Chicago with his family and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. Most of his time there was spent in the museum studying the collections of his favorite painters such as Monet, Manet, Pissarro, and Renoir. He absorbed all he could from those artists. In the early 1990’s Modesitt moved his family back to Southern California with his skills refined.)
In San Diego, Modesitt began to paint directly from nature like never before. Here was the home of some of the great turn of the century regional artists such as Maurice Braun and Guy Rose. The revival of all these artists had an influence on Modesitt as their love of nature and of painting sparked a sense of camaraderie.)
Several exhibits assembled in Japan in the 1990’s showcased Modesitt paintings. Gallery owners on the East Coast of the United States began to carry John Modesitt paintings. Japanese collectors began collecting his Southern California landscapes. He was not content to paint only Natural scenes and soon developed an interest in Native American scenes. He and his wife befriended Chief Two Bears of the Dakotas. Chief Two Bears shared extensively about the lives of all Native American tribes. This greatly influenced Modesitt’s work. )
During the 1990’s several trips were made to France. In 1999, Modesitt and his family took up part-time residency in the Burgundy countryside in France. In a small village of about one dozen French families, Modesitt painted en plein air. His work was sent back to galleries in the USA meeting with success. When he returned to the U.S.A., he visited Canyon de Chelly and other Native American settings. New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona became important places in his paintings.)
Several publications list John Modesitt and numerous art magazines carry articles on his work. His work is sold at Fine Auction houses around the world including Christies in London, Paris, and Los Angeles (Impressionist/Modern Art Sale). A new book has been published on his works in California entitled: Modesitt, The Paintings of California written by Kagawa and Stewart. )
Modesitt paintings are found in the Butler Museum of American Art and the Butler Museum.