John Roush began an accelerated self-guided study of art in the late 1990s. Within two years he was showing his work in regional art festivals and teaching from his home studio. The demand for his work in local markets encouraged him to participate on a national level. His entry in the first Pastel Journal magazine competition won the first place award for landscape. He has since won another first place and seven finalist awards in the popular annual contest. In 2000 he was given Signature status in the prestigious Pastel Society of America on his first application for membership. He was elected a Master pastelist in 2005. He is also a Master pastelist and a founding member of the MidAmerica Pastel Society. Other memberships include: The American Artists Professional League, where he is a Fellow member, Allied Artists of America and Oil Painters of America. His works have been shown in these organizations as well as the Hudson Valley Art Association, Salmagundi Club, Pastel Society of the West Coast, Degas Pastel Society, National Park Academy of the Arts, Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art, Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, Connecticut Academy of Fine Art, the Hermitage Foundation Museum and the Butler Institute of American Art.
John was born in Kansas and has fond memories of idyllic childhood summers on the farm. He regularly travels back to his home state and Colorado to paint and gather reference photos for his studio paintings. His Midwest and Western portfolios are supplemented with paintings of Maine and its islands. Annual visits to Monhegan Island yield paintings of scenery that has remained virtually unchanged for over a century. Many of his favorite artists have painted there, including George Bellows, Edward Redfield, Rockwell Kent and, of course, the Wyeths.