|Former Resident John Dixon Artwork Featured in Tipp City Homecoming|
|Written by Nancy Bowman|
|Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00|
John Andrew Dixon can’t remember a time when he wasn’t drawing.
The interest, encouraged by his parents, has served the Tippecanoe High School graduate well.
A self-employed graphic designer for much of his career, he said he “has shifted more of my enthusiasm to fine art.” He works in a range of media, blogs regularly at “The Collage Miniaturist” and is engaged in wood engraving.
Dixon also is one of those featured in the Tipp City Homecoming: An Exhibition of Tipp City Alumni and Area Artists at the Studio 14 Benkin Gallery of Fine Art through Jan. 5.
Dixon and six siblings grew up on Shoop Road. He was a cross-country runner and was active in band and theater.
Dixon said he received “an exceptional scholastic, college prep” education in the local schools, but during his high school years had four different art teachers.
Looking to enhance the art experience for their son, Dixon said his parents helped him in joining Norman Rockwell’s Famous Artists School and its “Course for Talented Young People.” This was a home-study program that he said provided his first “serious exposure” to art.
Following high school, Dixon received a degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Design. He and wife of 31 years, Dana, had a studio in Dayton in the 1980s. He was on the adjunct faculty responsible for courses in visual communications at Wright State University for six years.
“I am mostly self-taught as an illustrator, but learned a great deal from first-hand observation of veteran commercial artists, in those final years before the digital world emerged,” Dixon said.
He studies wood engraving with Wesley Bates, a Canadian master engraver, and prints his works with the guidance of a letterpress authority Gray Zeitz of Larkspur Press in Monterey, Ky.
Dixon said he learned about the Studio 14 Benkin Gallery exhibit opportunity on Facebook. He has no immediate family in the community any longer, but visits to see old friends from time to time.
His current projects are a pencil and watercolor portrait commission and preparations for a solo exhibit of collage miniatures. He said he continues to create promotional art for clients and has been selected to design graphics for the 25th Anniversary of the Great American Brass Band Festival.
Dixon resides in Kentucky near family.
“Inspired by our parents’ values, we all migrated to Central Kentucky to reside in proximity, pledging to share life as a close-knit, extended family,” he said. “For nearly 35 years, a remote farm retreat in the Knobs of Casey County, where our mother, Virginia, still lives at home, has been our unifying focus.”
Dixon asked to give special mention to his wife, Dana, who he said “has been my ‘partner in all things.’”
He has the following advice for anyone interested in working in graphic design and/or wood engraving:
“Above all else, learn to draw and develop the skill to visualize ideas on paper by hand. Software fluency is vital, but there is an important part of the creative process that shuts down as soon as an artist turns to the computer,” Dixon said. “Never eliminate or shortchange that essential magic that flows directly from the mind to the hand.”
For more information on Dixon and his works, visit www.dixondesign.com.