Project Description

Artist’s Profile
Catalogued by Christies of South Kensington as a 20th century artist. Probably a tolerable estimate. Studied at the Huddersfield of Art in fine prints and lettering, developing personal visual communications concepts. Post-graduate studies at the University of Leeds and the Leeds College of Art. Became a Member of the Chartered Society of Designers in 3 categories ie General Illustration, Typography and Design Education. In private practice has been an illustrator to Maclean-Hunter and the Penrose Annual and developed concept work for agencies, studios and individual companies. Research in the fields of word and picture images / professional practice and personal development as an employment factor for designers. Visiting lecturer at the School of Advanced Studies at Manchester College of Art and Design. One time course leader at Manchester Polytechnic. Involved in art and design education for many years at all levels from infant and junior to Post-graduate. Doesn’t identify any relationship between qualifications and creativity or creativity and status, but recognises that qualifications, like experience become less important once you have them and are a deterrent to predators. Major interests are dwellings (which reflect the soul) Water (making up much of the human body) Ships (the transportation aspect) And natural forms and their struggle for survival. Probably the most important asset is a well developed sense of humour.

Where Am I Now?

I paint, write and illustrate.

My visual works takes 2 forms. Painted in watercolour, gouache, acrylic or Chroma…watercolour allows me to float and be instant and ethereal; acrylic I tend to use for larger works; gouache, Chroma and inks are colour weaponry…I use these to zing with and exploit the use of colour as a powerful agent to excite, motivate and infiltrate the mind to fill it full of fun…it is emotional magic, a world full of wonderment. Each picture starts with a story or an idea for it must communicate on a number of different levels to reach a wider audience, so it is chameleonic in nature.

Pen drawings or ‘black and whites’ explore the line, communicate detail and contrast. Observational, documentary and whimsical, here I come…sometimes reminiscent of a Bewick engraving, contrasting solid black and fine line as Rackman or the humorous, giggling line of Ronald Searle rather than the violence of Steadman. These are at their best as doodles, when I can take the pen for a walk and collect stories along the way.

 See John’s work at