John was born in Belgium in the coal-mining town of Marcinelle (known as the Black Country) in 1945. He migrated to Australia in 1969 “to have a look,” fell in love with the place and it’s people and 38 years later has not lost his love and passion for his adopted country. Although since childhood, painting (art in general) was going to be his calling… it’s only after schooling, a short dreaming period of becoming a crop dusting pilot and achieving a career in finance with IAC, that in 1976 he became a full-time artist with the support of his wife, Frances.
As an artist not born in Australia John feels he saw and still sees the Australian environment with fresh eyes. The charm of nostalgic 19th-century settings of historic towns has won John many accolades. John’s work is reproduced as card, prints, limited edition prints, calendars and books and his paintings were among the first to be published by Art Nouveau during its domination of fine art publishing in the late ’80s. One of his prints was second on the national list of all time best sellers. This achievement has helped his reputation to grow as one of Australia’s well sought after artists.
When John paints a town, it’s as if he is a portrait painter. John accurately sketches every building in the street before he stars his final work. He says, “When I look down from the top of a hill in a village, I know every house in the town. Sometimes I remove the bitumen or take a little liberty with the time of day or season, but the structure of the scenes is always true to life.
John’s work hangs in private corporate and public collections throughout the world. his Polo scenes have proved popular with members of the royal family, including Prince Charles. Kerry Packer was another collector of his work. John paints seascapes, landscapes, polo games, street and beach scenes and often immortalises the pioneer spirit of Australia with street scenes and country homesteads, which has won him wide acclaim.
After several trips overseas. John has rediscovered the “Old Europe” and has added some charming scenes of Provence, Ireland, England and Italy to his repertoire.
And John says…. “the journey continues!”