Collection: Closing Time

Jon Francis

The contrast of neon and night time. Urban landscapes, city lights and highway lines.
Being a Colorado Springs native, I am continually inspired by this city and region. I live and work close to downtown. When I’m not painting in my studio, you can find me running in my neighborhood or hiking with my family in Palmer Park.

I began making art from a very early age. I started by taking classes at Bemis Art School and my passion for art just grew. In high school I was fortunate to be taught by local Colorado Springs artist Floyd Tunsen at Palmer High. His love for Pop Art was a great influence on my early artwork. Floyd introduced me to Basquiat, Warhol, and Claes Oldenburg. I became very inspired by popular and graphic imagery.

In college my passion continued to grow as I learned to paint from life and built my knowledge of traditional landscapes. Painting was focused on an indirect painting method built from layering thin washes of paint to create a warm glow on the canvas. Imagery for landscapes in college was very traditional, but I always yearned to take my easel to the railroad tracks to paint the back allies. I often asked my painting teacher if we could skip another lake painting and go find some industrial area.

Currently I have been very inspired by urban landscapes: landscapes of beautiful skies juxtaposed by elements of urban life (powerlines, billboards, gas stations, etc.). In a world of disposable everything, I enjoy painting these moments as a way to record, preserve and enjoy the landmarks that have shaped my childhood and my city. The warm glow of a neon sign and a brightly lit billboard helps me still incorporate my love of Pop art with classical elements from a landscape.

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