Born in Charters Towers, Queensland, John enrolled in formal Art Studies from 1950-55 in Brisbane. At that time, because art was not considered a “real job”, John attended the University of Queensland to complete a Dental Degree and later post-graduate studies at the Royal College of Surgeons, London. After returning to Australia in 1965, John renewed his art studies at many workshops, summer schools and the inaugural Australian Flying Art School, established by Mervyn Moriaty.
Much of John’s artistic life has involved some very special landscapes. The Carnarvon ranges became John's second home in the seventies when he "dropped out" of society and lived as a potter/painter and author in the National Park. This fascination with the landscape, wildlife and mythology of National Parks has formed a nucleus for much of John's Art. After completion of resident Artist jobs for Kakadu, Mount Moffatt, Carnarvon and Fraser Island National Parks in Australia, John was offered the first international artist in Residence position at the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado USA. This was followed by further residencies in Yosemite National Park in California and Haleakala National Park in Maui, Hawaii.
In 1988, John constructed a 20sq metre, 2.5 ton fired clay mural for the Roma Town Council, and later set up a bronze-casting sculpture studio. Children’s books based on genuine aboriginal mythology were produced for Queensland University Press.
John has tutored at the McGregor College Summer School, Toowoomba and is Director of the Australian Geographic Wilderness Arts Schools. He was also the leader of an Art and Architecture Tour of Tuscany, Italy.
John has also won a number of art prizes including, The Courier Mail children’s art prize at age 12, Portrait prizes at Noosa, Port Macquarie, Varsity Lakes, Qld, Roma and Kogan, Western Qld. Landscape prizes in both watercolour, acrylic and oil at Redcliffe, Sydney and regional towns in NSW, as well as Brisbane and many Western and regional towns from Cloncurry to Roma.
John has a firm belief that: 'Art should begin as a great idea, the artist should be inspired to communicate that idea and the work must be based on a sound understanding and command of the craft’. Which means any subject is achievable. John enjoys painting many diverse subjects such as Seascapes, Cityscapes, Portraits and particularly personal journeys throughout the world.
John describes his process as, “My direction in Art has been, and continues to be, about the beauty and power of the real world I see about me and responding to a landscape, a visually interesting face or figure using the only “tools” I have – drawing, value, edges and colour.”