John Buxton's technique has come from more than four decades of education and professional commercial illustration. But the skill that illuminates and informs his fine art comes from his personal passion to go that extra mile…to make it right for all time. That passion, and compassion, gives John Buxton’s historical paintings a strength, even majesty, that his earlier commercial work may not havepossessed. Having received his degree from the Art Center School in Pasadena, California, he lived in Pennsylvania and illustrated other people’s work while savoring the history of his home state. But after working with the book division of The National Geographic Society, it came time to start thinking about leaving editorial illustration for something more personal. Finally, it was the power of choosing his own subjects which helped Buxton take the major step into fine art. "I left the commercial field to paint the history of Western Pennsylvania," he says. Living there, in the rolling hills, he heard the echo of all that had taken place, "as it influenced our young America of the 18th century. It happened right here in my backyard, so to speak." His long developed technique, combined with his renewed enthusiasm, couldn’t help but speak to viewers, for whom he helped make history come alive.
An abundant lacework of rivers, streams and lakes offered an easy means of travel for the Native Americans of the Northeast. The drama and beauty of these natural highways could be extraordinary. This great wall of water, with its deafening roar and constant cascade of mist, provides a welcome break from their bark canoes. Soon, they will portage around and above this waterfall to calmer waters and resume their journey through this unspoiled wilderness.
The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania held its grand opening this year on February 12th-Abraham Lincoln´s birthday. Naturally, all eyes were on John´s magnificent life-size painting, commissioned expressly for the museum´s permanent collection. A definitive portrayal, it captures all of Lincoln´s humanity while reflecting our continuing awe of the man´s towering achievements.... We realize that only a few select collectors will have the wall space to accommodate a reproduction approaching the original´s dimensions; therefore, we also offer the work in a more accessible size. Published from the artist´s original oil painting.
Artist John Buxton’s new Fine Art Edition depicts the calm before the storm of an American Indian surprise attack on militiamen. Captain John Lovewell of New England, a ranger and renowned scalp hunter, died on May 8, 1725 as he led a third expedition against the Abenaki Indians in an area now known as Fryeburg, Maine. A number of colonial militiamen and Abenaki Native Americans, including a notorious war chief named Paugus, also died in the engagement which marked the end of hostilities between the Abenaki and the white colonists in this part of the colonies.
More than 100 years later, the event was immortalized in a poem The Battle of Lovell's Pond, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, author of Paul Revere's Ride, and The Song of Hiawatha.
One of the verses reads:
The warriors that fought for their country, and bled,
Have sunk to their rest; the damp earth is their bed,
No stone tells the place where their ashes repose,
Nor points out the spot from the graves of their foes.
"I'm a historical artist. I don't claim to be a historian," said Buxton who is known for his painstaking research into every detail. He hired a Maine historian to help him explore the banks of what is now Lake Lovewell in Maine. They canoed the lake and saw the actual sites of Captain Lovewell’s exploits. Buxton noted the steep slope of the bank, the vegetation and fully imagined the scene that eventually took shape on his canvas. The original painting was commissioned by a direct descendant of Captain John Lovewell. Now you, too, can own a piece of this remarkable Colonial New England history.
This battle took place August 8, 1780 during the Revolutionary War period. The British from Ft. Detroit were supplying the natives to attack the colonists in Kentucky and elsewhere. The British built a stockade fort for the Shawnee at their village, which you can see in the upper right corner of image.
Under the leadership of George Rogers Clark, the men of Kentucky retaliated. They moved north to destroy as many Indians and villages as possible while hoping to advance on Ft. Detroit. There were a few villages and six miles of planted corn along the flatlands of the Mad River just west of today’s Springfield, Ohio. This has been called the Battle of Piqua.
The scene shown in my painting is about mid-battle when Clark’s men had attained a hill to the to the west of the stockade. Their six-pound cannon shelled the fort and a group of natives filed out to face-off against Clark’s men.
13-year-old Tecumseh was to have lived at this village, and is shown holding the dog. George Rogers Clark’s cousin, Joseph Rogers, was killed at this battle. He is depicted as the Caucasian Indian on the right side of the native hut.
The engagement was a success for Clark’s bragade, who destroyed six miles of corn, disabling winter raids on Kentucky because the natives needed to hunt game for food.
This is a portrait of John Frazier who, with a few other English traders on the upper Allegheny river in 1752, were visited by friendly local natives that appreciated his skill at metal repair. By mid-1753 the French had taken his cabin in Venango and he fled to Turtle Creek near the Monongahela River. His cabin there was visited by young George Washington in 1753 and 1754.