John was born in Dublin in 1958. He has been painting since the late 1990’s. Recently, he moved to Abbeyfeale, County Limerick to paint full-time. He is married and has three children. Mostly self taught, John took painting lessons from Brian Quinn after meeting him painting Plein air in 1997.
“We live in an era of aesthetic experiment in which ‘mere’ representation of the world is considered at best commonplace. Most art colleges consider drawing part of a tradition that has run its course. I personally don’t agree with this, every kind of art has its place. The work that I aspire to is work which has a degree of skill, I have a love of the Irish Landscape, the effects of light and weather, atmosphere, distance. The paintings that result are fresh, immediate and compelling.
I am prone to stop to make quick oil or pencil sketches when something has caught my eye! Mornings and evenings, come rain, hail or shine I will stop and do this, gradually putting together a kind of visual record that I would use in more finished work. Eventually, encouraged by professional artists whose opinions I valued, and by sales of my own work in open exhibitions such as The Rotunda Hospital, I took the plunge, and started to exhibit in galleries. I work out of a studio adjacent to my house in Kilteel, which is close to the landscape, city and beach that I paint.
Today some critics tell us that to be great, art should shock, disturb and challenge our preconceptions – well, some should, but not all of it; art can be great that also celebrates the world around us. Painters who enjoy the landscape, the weather, light and shade; who love the beauty of flowers in a pot; the human form; the everydayness of kitchen things, are capable of being every bit as ‘serious’ as those whose vision is of a bleaker kind. What my art can do is make our faded eyes see that ordinary bit of the Irish countryside beach, etc in a different way.”