Jon Houghton


104 Monaco Road
Melbourne, Florida 32904

(321) 432-9364

Self employed

In third grade, some kid called me an artist. In the sixth grade, at Sunset Elementary, my teacher told me I’d never amount to anything because all I wanted to do was draw. At Ponce Jr. High, when my girlfriend told me an art career would be a waste of a good mind, I became conflicted. Maybe art just wasn’t macho enough. So at Gables, I went out for sports (worst linebacker in school history) and social activities. But the drawings in the margins of my old school notebooks show that I was still up to my former habits. I was now studying art privately with the help of professionals.

When Bill Link, George McLain, Faryl Sims and I went to UNC I decided to go straight and major in math. It was no use. Away from positive influences, I degenerated into an art major, even working my way through school as an illustrator.

During the Vietnam conflict, stationed near New York City, I cultivated my obsession at the museums, the galleries and the Art Students League. Free of the service, I crossed the country on my Triumph motorcycle trying to interest myself in honest work. But I soon began selling an occasional painting and doing landscapes in the Southwest.

Then I met Christine. She was worth trying to live up to. It was time to get serious. By now I knew the only recourse was to make my obsession a career. My associations with several internationally known artists began to focus my mind. My subjects had always been people and the parade of life. Now, National Academician Daniel Greene encouraged me to include portraiture in my work, even hooked me up with a New York gallery. A fellowship with another National Academician, Philip Pearlstein, further encouraged me, helping define the place for a realist’s approach in the world of the abstract condition. My art career slowly became a reality.

Except for a brief stint as an Art Director at the University of Texas at Austin, I have been independent ever since, doing what I love. In relationship with God and man I couldn’t ask for more. I have had studios in Texas, Georgia and Melbourne, Florida, but we’re in Melbourne pretty much full time now. Christine and I have three children, two of whom are married and have brought us four of the most incredible grandchildren imaginable.

Looking forward to the 50th. Hope to see you all there.