Francis was born and raised in Laguna Beach. His youth spanned the years when Laguna Beach was in transition from one of the great West Coast art colonies to the visitor destination that it is today. Even in his early years he was an active painter winning awards at the Orange County Fair. His formal art training took place at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. There he studied among several of California's finest art educators including Lorser Feitelson, Harry Carmean and Bernice Politka.
AN ANALYSIS OF THE ARTIST'S WORK
The paintings of Jon Francis reflect an interest in capturing the places and things of an earlier and simpler time. Francis builds upon the artistic sensibilities of artists at the beginning of the previous century like Arthur Mathews and George Inness by imbuing his subjects with suggestions of quiet grandeur. At the same time, Jon utilizes a vocabulary of visual elements which look forward to more modernist impulses.
Every day I am inspired by the beauty of West Marin. My first impression is always the light. The morning and evening light define the landscape... Whatever my subject, I try to make light, or the light source, the dominant element. I also work with the "negative space," the area that surrounds and defines the object, to creat the composition. I prefer to use a very narrow palette of analogous colors that allows the composition to be held together by the shapes of elements rather than color differences. - Jon Francis
AWARDS & AFFILIATIONS
As a director of television commercials, Francis won numerous citations including the Gold, Silver and Bronze Lions at the Cannes Film Festival. He has also received several Clio awards during his career.
2014 "Jon Francis: Let Icons Be Icons", Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2011 "Jon Francis: Paintings from the Drive Home", Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2009 "Jon Francis: American Icons", Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2005 "Fall Four", Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2002 "Places and Things", Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2001 Bolinas Museum, Bolinas, CA
2006 "The Missions and Early California Buildings", Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2005 "Scenes of American Labor", Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2004 "Soft Light Serenade", Sullivan Goss - An American Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA
2004-1999 Bolinas Museum, Marin County, CA
2003-1998 Claudia Chapline Gallery, Stinson Beach, CA
2003 Laguna PAPA Juried Membership Exhibit, Laguna, CA
2003-2002 California Art Club, Pasadena
2004-2001 M.A.L.T. (Marin Agricultural Land Trust), Marin County, CA
2001 Marinscape, Marin County, CA