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About the Artist John Wilson

Aged just 10 years old, contemporary artist John Wilson received his first plaudits for his art, claiming top prize in a school Easter card designing competition. This acted as something of a catalyst for a (very) young Wilson, and it wasnít long before he was filling every spare moment of his time honing his art, specifically with regards to drawing; his chief interests at that juncture, aircraft and cars, serving as his muses.

Just two years later, Wilsonís emerging artistic direction swung favourably towards the use of oils as his new medium of choice, after being gifted a set of oil paints and an easel for Christmas in his 12th year. An easel that Wilson still joyfully admits to using today, some 40 years on. Oils represented a new dawn to Wilson, opening up a depth of colour and texture like never before, whilst simultaneously the artist recounts how a beautiful scent of linseed and turpentine suddenly filled the house.

Works By John Wilson

  • Girls by John Wilson
    Girls
  • House Of Dali by John Wilson
    House Of Dali
  • Loving Vincent by John Wilson
    Loving Vincent
  • The Family by John Wilson
    The Family
  • The Land Of Oz by John Wilson
    The Land Of Oz
  • Wonderland by John Wilson
    Wonderland
  • Who's Calling by John Wilson
    Who's Calling
  • In The Summertime by John Wilson
    In The Summertime
  • Aqueduct by John Wilson
    Aqueduct
  • Night Shift by John Wilson
    Night Shift
  • The Picasso Gallery by John Wilson
    The Picasso Gallery
  • Lighting Up Time by John Wilson
    Lighting Up Time
  • End Of The Day by John Wilson
    End Of The Day
  • The Beach by John Wilson
    The Beach
  • Steam Up by John Wilson
    Steam Up
  • All Around The Clock Tower by John Wilson
    All Around The Clock Tower
  • River Scene by John Wilson
    River Scene
  • A Winter Scene by John Wilson
    A Winter Scene
  • In The Spotlight by John Wilson
    In The Spotlight
  • Me And My Shadow by John Wilson
    Me And My Shadow
  • A Working Day by John Wilson
    A Working Day
  • The Football Match by John Wilson
    The Football Match
  • The Little Picture Show (Triptych) by John Wilson
    The Little Picture Show (Triptych)
  • The Corner Shop by John Wilson
    The Corner Shop
  • Underneath The Arches by John Wilson
    Underneath The Arches
  • Wall Of Fame by John Wilson
    Wall Of Fame
  • Step By Step by John Wilson
    Step By Step
  • Painting By Numbers by John Wilson
    Painting By Numbers
  • Don't You Just Love This Time Of Year by John Wilson
    Don't You Just Love This Time Of Year
  • Window Shopping I by John Wilson
    Window Shopping I
  • Red Carpet by John Wilson
    Red Carpet
  • The Monet Room by John Wilson
    The Monet Room



The Harrogate School of Art offered Saturday morning painting classes, which Wilson attended for a couple of years, and when older he enrolled on a part-time evening class where he had his first exposure to figure painting and the Pop Art movement. Shortly afterwards Wilsonís Pop Art-inspired self portrait was afforded wall space at Harrogate Art Gallery as part of an exhibition run at that time.

Unfortunately for Wilson, his budding art career hit the buffers after his adolescence, as life dictated that he had to forge a secure living (complete with regular wage), as is so often the case for young artists, whoís talent is so very often snuffed out in its prime. Not the case with Wilson, who ensured that his artistic light continued to burn brightly behind the scenes, as he focused his time and energies on running his own successful small business, getting married and raising 3 daughters over the next 25 years. Wilson finally managed to return to painting in the mid-1990s, and made up for lost time by arranging to have his work exhibited in local galleries where he quickly gained a following amongst art lovers and collectors far and wide.

It was in fact Wilsonís youngest daughter, Stephanie, who inadvertently inspired her father to create the painting style that heís now synonymous with, when as a 4 year old she enthusiastically showed him a wax crayon self portrait that sheíd rendered that day at play school. Wilson describes how he was fascinated with its construction and the use of colours, and only when he began observing other childrenís drawings and paintings did he notice the one recurrent thread. The underlying fact that children almost entirely draw people Ė complete with matchstick or fat limbs - front on. Conversely, they see animals for the most part in profile. This revelation got Wilson thinking about the old masters, and their understanding of the adult versus child perspective and approach to art and its subject matter.

Picasso once claimed that as a child he saw things and therefore painted them with an adultís eye, and yet spent his latter years unsuccessfully attempting to paint from a childís vantage-point. These two proclamations in effect gave Wilson his conceptual idea and future commercial edge, as he planned converging a childís uninhibited application with the considered administration of the mature artist. This molecular idea is a still evolutionary process according to Wilson, who confers that the more he scrutinises childrenís art, the more heíll look to ways of fusing the thought process behind it with that of an adultís implementation.

Wilsonís unapologetically childish characters sit astride what otherwise alludes to be a straight-laced interpretation of either a domestic scene or an everyday vista, with art galleries perversely being a popular backdrop to his enigmatic studies. Not that you first notice the backdrop, drawn as you are to the crudely-rendered, childishly-observed incarnations of, well, kids. Or to be precise, the way in which a kid would view and thereafter paint a fellow small person. The Pop Art force is strong on many an occasion, as are nods and winks to the old masters, yet itís the crazy kids taking over the creative asylum that both enliven and ultimately engender Wilsonís contemporary pieces time and time again.

Wilson uses gouache for a good 90% of his paintings, despite until fairly recently opting for watercolours. He recalls how one day he just couldnít find a vibrant enough colour to represent a subject area in a piece in his watercolour palette, so he bought a tube a gouache to provide an alternative. An off the cuff decision from which heís never had any lingering doubts about. Wilson calls on initial pencil outlining very rarely, and only for the marking of perspective, instinctively and habitually committing the paint straight onto the canvas and see what unfolds as a direct result of this liberated approach. Like a number of contemporary artists, to achieve a rawer, less structured effect, Wilson will often elect to use his left hand, especially when incorporating the wax crayon element to his studies, irrespective of him being a right-hander. He also admits to becoming lost in the painting, and literally losing hours, sometimes days when absorbed in a particular piece that requires his full, undivided attentions.

Latest Artworks

Framed Size: 42 x 22 inches
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Framed Size: 32 x 23 inches
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Framed Size: 32 x 23 inches
Unavailable