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John

Living to paint

I was born in London and studied graphic design at Folkestone School of Art. During the 70's and 80's
I worked in advertising and design agencies in London and the South East as a visualiser and graphic designer.
It was during the 90’s, whilst director of a design consultancy, that I discovered watercolours and started
painting with them in my spare time. The fluidity of the medium and it's instant result excited me and
I was soon painting 'en plein air' whenever I could find time.

It was always my plan to give up working in commercial art and spend the rest of my days 'living to paint'
rather than like most artists, painting for a living. I've been fortunate over the last 12 years to have done just
that, and in the process, travelled to some wonderful locations, meeting and painting along side some
very talented painters many of whom are now great friends.

I am a prolific painter who paints outside in all weathers, attempting to complete the work in a single session.
In damp weather I use a blow torch to speed up the drying process of my watercolours, setting fire to the paper,
my gloves, and my hands on many occasions!

Although my preferred medium is watercolour, I also paint in oils.

In addition to my studio in Surrey, I paint on location from our cottage in Cornwall, often joined by my
friend, St Ives painter, Alan Holmes.

I am particularly fascinated by the winter light and enjoy painting marine and coastal subjects.


'I find there is an urgency about painting in front of the subject that I don't feel when working in the studio.
On location I work faster than when in the studio, but the time seems to go slower. Having to contend
with the weather and a constant changing light adds energy to the painting and brings it to life.'



2016