Jonathan Eiten was raised in rural, central Iowa. From a young age his artistic talents were recognized and encouraged by his teachers and parents. He began his formal studies as an artist in 1987 while attending Central College in Pella, Iowa. He studied printmaking under Lawrence Mills and acquired along with it a strong sense and skill of the classical traditions of drawing.
In 1989 Jonathan had the opportunity to go to The Netherlands as an exchange student where he studied Dutch Art History at the University of Leiden. He also took studio courses at ARS Aemula Naturae (Leiden School of Art) under Frans De Haas. It was during this time that Jonathan was able to study 17th Century Dutch paintings at many of the museums there.
After returning to the U.S. Jonathan attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received his B.F.A in fine art, with a focus in printmaking and drawing, from Calvin in 1992. After college he experimented drawing in silver point and showing in local juried competitions.
In 1997, after several years of working in the field of counseling Jonathan moved to Maine where he worked with artist Jon Allen Marshall. After a year of painting he took a second trip to The Netherlands with the goal of revisiting many of the museums there. It was during his trip to Holland that Jonathan came into contact with contemporary Dutch realism. This exposure helped to clarify the focus he wanted to take in his painting. His creative process has been shaped by a number of people including contemporary painters from the Noordelijke Realisten movement and painters from the past such as Chardin and the 17th-century Dutch masters. Although aspects of their paintings can be seen in his work, he is striving for a unique look. He paints from life and desires the image to be objective, but also wants to present another dimension or reality beyond what one first sees. For example, the scratches in a wooden table or the worn pages of a letter or book are things that tell a story. Important parts of his paintings, light and reflection, are used to help focus the eye and to aid in telling the story. This encourages the viewer to look beyond the objects themselves and to contemplate deeper.
In 2005 Jonathan was accepted in to membership at the Copley Society of Art. A few years later he was advanced to the level of Copley Artist. He has enjoyed participating in a number of shows at their gallery on Newbury Street in Boston as well as off-site exhibits at Harvard College and Symphony Hall. He has shown at other galleries in Boston and participated in the 2013 Allston Arts Open Studios. Recently, one of his paintings was selected for the 2014 Regional Painting Competition at The Guild of Boston Artists. He has showed at several galleries in Portland, Maine, as well. He lives just outside of Portland with his wife and two sons.