Although John spent most of his life in the south of England, he was born in York and was a Yorkshireman through and through. Straight to the point, but always a very warm welcome to everyone.
He was sent, by his father, to be a signwriter, but on his way to work he went into the York School of Art and told the Principal that he could do better than a students work that was up for weekly assessment. He went away and submitted a watercolour anonymously, which was promptly selected by the principal as the weeks best work. John was accepted into the school along with his fellow Yorkshireman David Hockney. The beginning of both their long careers as artists. In typical John style, on arrival, he told them he wanted to be a sculptor, rather than a painter.
He went on to the Royal College of Art, to teach at the Chelsea School of Art, where he built is own kiln to experiment in other artistic areas, with his friend, ceramicist, Hans Coper, someone who’s work he featured in two of John's recent paintings.
John’s many accolades are listed in the “about” section of this website.
In his private life he was married to Valerie McCready, having a son Julian, later divorcing.
John moved to Devizes in Wiltshire approximately 40 years ago where he met and had a long term friendship with fellow artist David Inshaw. It was here he also met his life partner ceramicist Deborah McCabe.
A typical day for John would be to get up very early and go for a long walk down Caen Hill locks, returning to his studio to start work. He would stop work at around 9.30, what for John was mid morning, to go for a coffee or gree tea, sitting in his usual seat in the window of “Jack Sprat’s” cafe, overlooking the market square.
There was nothing John liked more than sitting with a small group of friend, talking art, music, fast cars, anything in the news, and latest mess the politicians have got us into. Small groups were fine with John, but he disliked large organised gatherings, so much so that he would never receive his Royal Academy medal. His son will now get the medal from the academy.
With lunch at “the Peppermill” afternoons were for painting, never happier than working in his studio with radio 3 always in the background.
John was a warm, friendly, generous man, who had so many friends and acquaintances in Devizes, going shopping could take some time.
He will be missed by his many many many friends