John's 40 year career as a landscape
painter, graphic artist and sculptor is a natural outcome of
his heritage within a highly creative family. His grandfather,
Ub Iwerks, was the creator of Mickey and Minnie Mouse along with
Walt Disney. His father, Don Iwerks, is a Disney Legend as is
Ub. John's older brother Larry is an artist, and his younger
sister Leslie is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. John's
wife Chris Chapman is an artist, and they've worked and painted
together for over 25 years.
Since 1991 John has been a popular teacher
of plein air painting at Santa Barbara City College's Adult Education.
He thrives on working with different materials; oil, watercolor,
acrylic, pastel, stone, ceramics, and metal. He is a founding
member of the Oak Group, a Santa Barbara based group of artists
formed in 1986, dedicated to preserving open spaces.
John's fascination with earth sciences
earned him the honorary title of Fellow at UCSB where his cross-section
mural is installed in the Geology Department. More geologic murals
were commissioned and are permanent installations at Channel
Islands Ntl. Park (Santa Barbara Island), Cal State Northridge,
Santa Barbara City College and Laguna Hills Community Center.
An interpretive map UCSB's 6,000 acre Sedgwick Reserve was created
by John along with numerous illustrations of wildlife for their
brochure and trail guides.
Other commissions include an expansive
mural at Carrizo Plain Ntl. Monument, Santa Barbara Museum of
Natural History Nature Trail illustrations, Logo and Topographic
Map of Arroyo Hondo Preserve (where John and Chris were Preserve
Managers) and a bronze/stone Donor Recognition Monument at Santa
Barbara's Ellwood Mesa for the Trust for Public Land.