John was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1929 into a family of 12 brothers and sisters.
After a career in design and teaching, he moved to Maine to devote full time to his art. John worked in mediums including collage, sculpture, acrylics and photography. John constantly explored the relationship between color, light and form. He has created multitudinous works that include landscape, seascape and still life. John was a master colorist. Through the use of color he brings the elements of surprise and delight to his work.
John collaborated with the love of his life, Bettina Swirkal. Just like a scene from a romantic movie, John fell in love with Bettina when he first laid eyes on her at the Art Students' League in New York City. Soon the two were inseparable. Each helped promote and encourage the other's art. Together they photographed beautiful flowers or carousels, two of Bettina's favorite subjects, or they would hike into the Maine wilderness to capture images for John's works. They eventually gave up city life to settle into the Maine way. The rugged beauty of the Maine Coast and the freedom from distractions allowed them to live as creative partners. While their styles are very different, their support and love for each other made them a modern Romeo and Juliet in the art world. Both of their works are as relevant today as they were in the last few decades.