John L. Payne

First name
Last name

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, John Payne began drawing and painting at the age of six. Though formally educated in the arts well into college, his life and career path drastically changed when he enlisted into the United States Nuclear Navy at the age of 21. As a submariner, chemist and nuclear plant operator, safety became an integral part of his daily life. After leaving the Navy he followed a similar path working in radiation/chemical safety and ultimately as an Environmental Health and Safety Manager for over 20 years before returning to his passion as an artist. John is motivated by the works of the mid-century expressionists and current abstract artists alike. While some of John's work is pure expressionism, many of his pieces are more ordered in their chaos. This effort to control the abstraction with a sense of “boundaries” is reminiscent, states the artist, of the efforts we all make to live passionately while still attempting to conform to moral and social responsibilities. Holding a BA degree in Theology and serving as a minister, John’s work is littered with Social and religious commentary. As a Navy veteran John has traveled across the USA and to other countries as well, experiencing sights and cultures which have served as inspiration to his work. After 25 years of working in the corporate world with art as his hobby, John has recently abandoned “the grind” to pursue his work as an artist in earnest. He offers that the decision was not only overdue but "very liberating". John lives in Springfield, Missouri with his wife Pattie and two dogs.

Contact phone
Artist statement

For as long as I can remember I have been an artist. I simply love to draw, paint, build and create. I have an affinity for all things scientific, mathematical and natural. To me it is enjoyable to try and visually capture the essence of how nature, science and spirituality all blend together at times. While my work often has a story to tell it is more important to me, to simply create something that is colorful, stimulating and pleasant for me, as well as my viewer to look at and enjoy.

Portfolio images