John Brophy is an American artist living in the Seattle area. Brophy spent a lot of time traveling when he was a kid. His father worked in aerospace and his family moved a lot while he was growing up. He was born in St. Louis, but spent a large part of his life living outside the U.S., in Japan (twice) for nearly 12 years, Greece, and Spain, plus various places around the U.S. Because of having such a diversified background, he doesn’t consider himself typically American.
He studied art history and art conservation/ restoration at the University of Madrid. In the end however, he wasn’t satisfied with being a fan of other artists’ work and wanted to make his own. After several years of trial and error, he taught himself how to paint. He is a student of the “sheer force of will” school of painting.
Brophy usually works out his compositions on the computer using Maya, ZBrush, and Photoshop and uses the result as a concept for the final painting. He loves the freedom that designing in 3D allows, even though it is very technical and demanding. However, he considers digital imagery less interesting than traditional painting because it has no “object quality”. That is why he thinks it is so important to execute the painting by hand in oil using the traditional techniques of the 15th century Flemish painters that he most admires, Memling, David, Van der Weyden, Van Eyck, etc. The digital study is only a launching point for the final painting.