John has exhibited and sold paintings at a number of prestigious shows. He has been painting for over 40 years in his almost photo-realistic style and has won a great deal of acclaim for his paintings; plus a national award for his documentary photography whilst still a student.
John (pictured here in a photo from 2009), was born in Birmingham, England in 1961 and currently resides near Chesterfield in Derbyshire.
He showed a not inconsiderable flair for painting early on by studying for both the ‘O’ and ‘A’ level Art courses in two rather than the customary four years.
He also gave early indications of a level of realism in his art that would later become an identifying ‘trademark’ of so much of his work.
In 1997, John exhibited and sold one of his artworks at the Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times watercolour Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. His painting of Lichfield Cathedral was selected and sold during that show’s preview. In July 2008, another of John’s paintings, Low Tide, was selected for exhibition at the prestigious Royal Watercolour Society & Sunday Times Watercolour Competition exhibition. Again, the piece sold at the exhibition’s preview held at Bankside Gallery, home to the RWS.
He has also shown work at the Friends of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists Open Exhibition; as well as other galleries in the Midlands and East Anglia.
John established his first website in 2008. The current mobile device-friendly website built by Tim Wakeling, has brought John’s marketing credentials right up to date and will hopefully put his work well and truly before a much wider 21st Century clientele .
Other creative achievements
In 1983 John gained a BA in Visual Communications Studies at West Midlands College of Higher Education in Walsall. The course consisted of practical work in several creative fields including photography, graphic design, video and audio visual production. In his graduating year, John’s photographs of poor quality high-rise and high-density housing in the West Midlands won the main portfolio prize in the ‘Face to The World’ competition organised by The Observer newspaper (now owned by the Guardian) and Christian Aid. The competition was open to all professional photojournalists in the UK.
After College, John worked for a number of years as a freelance journal photographer and graphic designer and also spent 12 years pursuing a career as a professional actor under the Equity registered name : John Ironstone (after a road in the village where he grew up) . This period included a number of productions at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, plus TV and film roles – perhaps most notably, a small part in the 1997 heist-film Shadowrun (a fairly pale immitation of the Italian Job) in which he worked briefly opposite Sir Michael Caine.