Born and raised in London Ontario, John studied fine art at the University of Western Ontario with Patterson Ewen as his painting instructor throughout. While in his final year at Western he created a system of chance for painting that remains a key element in his work (see Artist’s Statement).
John continued his art studies at the University of Calgary, receiving a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1991.
After travels through Europe, India and across Canada, John has made Vancouver home since 1994. Here he enjoyed a decade long career in the animation industry, working on paintings for Walt Disney Animation Canada and creating paintings and designs for Mainframe Entertainment, Studio ‘B’ Productions and Bardel Entertainment.
John has had representation from a number of galleries, most notably with the Douglas Udell Gallery in Vancouver and Edmonton since 2008 until the galleries closed in 2016 and at the beginning of 2020 respectively. He has also exhibited many times at Il Museo Art Gallery at the Italian Cultural Centre, Vancouver.
John is now represented by Ashdale Gallery in North Vancouver, and Gallery Merrick in Victoria.
In 1986 I began to paint using a system of chance to select colors. This strategy is as follows:
I choose an area to be painted. I then throw a dart at the dartboard bull’s eye. When a numbered wedge is struck, I then paint with it's predetermined hue.
Carried out in a playful spirit, this arbitrary system results in unique color combinations. To resolve a painting my game-playing shifts to problem-solving, still maintaining this chance process.
I continue to work within this process because my artistic concerns still revolve around elements of play and discovery. However, while my concern is with visual dynamics – the play of colour, visual effects and the visceral nature of paint, its various applications and interactions – I am intrigued by the tension between these strictly painterly or abstract concerns and representational imagery.
While I continue to work with a wide range of imagery and subject matter in my art practice, for this exhibition my focus is on a traditional art form; flowers. For a very long time I have been fascinated with the visual complexity of hydrangeas. Not just for the ever changing multi-coloured flowers but for the equally complex nature of their leaves that also transform throughout their life span. Consistent with that emphasis I have also included two paintings of other flowers of interest in this exhibition.