A native of Rochester, New York, John J. Abisch always had a desire to draw since he was a child. At Iroquois Junior High, his art teacher noticed his obvious talent and encouraged him in his artwork. During his troubled teen years, which were fraught with numerous personal and family problems, John laid his artwork aside. As a young adult, having graduated from Community college of the Finger Lakes in 1975 with a degree in Environmental Conservation, John took up his pencil and sketchpad once again. It was at this time that a good friend of his bought him a copy of the book The Natural Way to Draw by Kimon Nicolaïdes. Though interested in the contents of the book, John had no real desire or self-discipline to go through the rigorous schedule of drawing that the book outlined, so he set it aside on his bookshelf.
John experienced a major life-changing event in November of 1976 when he trusted the Lord Jesus-Christ as his personal Saviour. Among many of the radical changes that took place in his personal life was that of the way he viewed the beauty of the natural world around him. It took on a new meaning for him. Inspired by several Chalk Art evangelists, John thought he could use his talent for the Lord. He went to the library and began to study art. He became particularly interested in watercolour. Not satisfied with his level of drawing skill, he remembered the aforementioned book that lay on his bookshelf and decided to go through the lessons as best as he could. His time was limited as he was by this time a young father and a full-time youth pastor at his church. He worked diligently at contour line drawings, gesture drawings and quick contours. He spent several hours a week drawing. His four children were inspiring subjects. These drawings were done without looking down at the paper. His skill vastly improved and his laboured, tight drawings were transformed into loose human "snapshots" from a heart inspired by the beauty and spirit of person and/or place.
For about four years, the demands of a new direction in ministry led John to travel as far north as Maine, as far south as Florida and as far west as Wisconsin. When he could he did plein air watercolours and pencil or pen sketches. During this time, he was also able to meet some of his favourite artists such as Phil Austin in Wisconsin, Ferdinand Petrie in Rockport, Massachusetts, Carleton Plummer in Maine and Thomas Aquinas Daly in East Arcade, New York. It was Thomas Aquinas Daly who encouraged John to start working in oils. Appreciative of that counsel, John took up the challenge of a new medium. He was immediately fascinated by the richness and forgiveness of oils. Receiving inspiration from the paintings of T.A. Daly, C.M. Dudash, Clyde Aspevig, Scott Christensen and Tucker Smith, John set out to paint landscapes of places he had been to as well as still lifes of the simple things around him.
Always seeking to improve his skills, John has taken workshops with artists Caroline Jasper, Dominic Vignola, C. M. Dudash and Scott Christensen. His work is best described as impressionistic realism. His brush strokes are loose and his finished work is read from a distance. His smaller paintings are somewhat tighter.
John presently resides in South Carolina, with his wife, Lyne. He is a retired missionary/pastor of a French speaking church in Québec, Canada. He now spends more time painting and drawing. His work has been entered in several online juried exhibitions.