Creating Rustic Art in Adirondack Style
Photo by Kate Ehle/cake & ale studio
Jon Swartwout learned to paint, as well as fish, at an early age from his grandfather while at their family camp in the southern Adirondacks. Jon continued to excel as an artist throughout high school and college. It wasn’t until he was exposed to the rustic arts that he found his passion. At age 23, he began focusing on his painting, and shortly thereafter he began making rustic furniture. In 2005, he started his business, the Fisher of the Berry studio. Two years later he married his long time girlfriend, Quinn. They have two sons, Jonny and Steven.
Jon is a self-taught furniture maker and describes his style as rustic interpretation of classic design. Each piece is custom designed and one of a kind. These pieces typically range from small tables and stands to large sideboards and cabinets. He also will take on specific rustic interior work, including built-ins, railings and architectural details.
Jon’s shop is located on a 15 acre property just north of Johnstown, NY. Along with help from his assistant, Fred Franko, he creates his furniture, as well as the frames for his paintings, at his shop. Although the furniture making takes place in the shop, the creative process actually begins in the woods with the harvesting of the rustic materials (trees, rootbases, bark and twigs). All of which gets immediately dried in an on-site kiln.
FISHING AND PAINTING
Jon has had a rod in this hands as long as he can remember. Whether it was learning how to fish for bass with his grandfather, skipping class in high school to spend the afternoon on a nearby stream or pond, down-rigging for Kings on Lake Ontario with his father or carrying canoes into remote Adirondack brook trout ponds, fishing has always seemed to play a part in Jon’s life, as well as his artwork.
Jon tends to paint in a realist style and often uses photos taken while fishing as inspiration for his paintings. The majority of which are landscape or wildlife depicting Adirondack imagery. He likes to explore new ideas with his artwork and hopes to continue to grow as an artist, both as a painter and as a furniture maker.
Jon recently won “the Makers Choice Award” for his work at the 2010 Rustic Fair at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mt., NY.
WHERE DOES THE NAME "FISHER OF THE BERRY" COME FROM?
From 2002 until 2009 Jon coached high school football at his alma-mater and spent a lot of time studying football literature. He was reading an old Airforce playbook at the same time he was looking for something catchy to name his new business. It just happened that the playbook was written by longtime coach, Fisher DeBerry.
“God made man as such that when something fires his soul, impossibilities vanish.”
- Fisher DeBerry Playbook