About John Walker
A latecomer to the art scene
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!