The Artwork of John Walker

Welcome to my online gallery. Please enjoy your visit.


About John Walker

A latecomer to the art scene

 

Born in Birmingham, some six months before Great Britain entered the Second World War, I had a happy upbringing in the North of Birmingham. My favourite ‘playground’ is now buried under a busy run of the M6, but I grew up having access to rolling fields, rippling brooks and a wide range of flora and fauna. Having all this wonder around me, it was hardly surprising that I felt inspired and  I took a deep interest in painting and drawing. An interest in itself wasn’t enough. To progress in the art world I would need formal Art training. That required educational qualifications. It wasn’t to be that way. I failed my eleven-plus. Why? I don't know; maybe I was a 'late developer’, because I gained my G.C.E; O and A levels after leaving school. It was all too late. Not getting through that examination meant I could never realise my dream of formal art training. So, after leaving school in 1954 and trawling through a number of boring, blind-alley jobs, I joined the Royal Navy; at the tender age of fifteen and a half. 

To become a seaman there was much to learn and in September 1954, I found myself at the famous (some would say infamous) HMS Ganges, at Shotley, Suffolk. Ganges was a training establishment for Boy Seamen; not really a place for dreamers or anyone of a sensitive, artistic nature; or was it? HMS Ganges was situated on the peninsula of the Rivers Stour and Orwell, a beautiful part of our land. It was an advantageous place for an artistic young lad to be. For one thing, I was not far from Constable Country and just a short sail up the Orwell would get me to the more picturesque reaches of the river; especially the atmospheric and intriguing Pin Mill. 

Placid river moorings, sailing barges, ponderous, yet paradoxically graceful and the fascinating bustle of busy boatyards all fired my enthusiasm. I took every possible opportunity to slip down to the foreshore and sketch. Most of those sketches became misplaced through intervening years as raising a family took priority in my life. Sadly, painting became something I did rarely, if ever. It was to remain like that until 1981. 

In June of that year, I was recovering from routine surgery and was advised by my doctor to rest from work, yet take some mild exercise. To  make the prescribed walks more palatable, I took to carrying a sketchbook and pencils. The subsequent painting at home was therapeutic during my enforced ‘holiday’ and it proved to be good medicine. Mostly though it prompted a reawakening and since then I have painted more or less incessantly.

 Now happily retired, I wonder where I ever found I time to go to work!

Maybe it's time to stop working for a living and start working at living!