Spending the greater part of my life on the south side of Chicago offered an infinite amount of inspiration. Before any formal training I sought out artistic stimulation in countless trips to the city, taking in the architecture, the lake front and of course the Art Institute of Chicago. Because the commute into the “Loop” was primarily by trains, busses and cabs, mechanized transportation was destined to become a key component in my work. I also draw on my thirty year history in commercial art and my life long affection for fine art.


In today’s cynical world we are so quick to generalize, whether it is how we view people or situations and not appreciate the uniqueness or the detail that is all around us. It is much easier to interpret things as we believe them to be rather than take the time to analyze and understand them as they truly are.

That being said it’s man’s creations, for better or worse that I choose to celebrate. Man’s evolution from hunters and gatherers to masters of molding earths natural resources into objects of our desires only serves to reinforce my appreciation of the human potential.

I am drawn to situations with strong light sources because in it reflections and shadows form. Colors and shapes appear that define something more and ultimately it is those colors and shapes that are usually more interesting than the main subject.

When viewed from a distance, I want my paintings to intrigue the audience and draw them in. Up close, I want the viewer to be absorbed by the loose, yet defined, organic appearance of the paint and color on the canvas.

It is the medium, its application and color that should elicit the viewers emotional response and as important as the subject matter might seem, it is merely a vehicle to connect with the audience and only a small part of what I wish them to experience.

Remain open minded. Don’t see things as you believe them to be. Look past the obvious and see something more.

Art has a BFA in painting from Millikin University in Decatur Illinois.

Download the complete Biography here: Art McNaughton Biography