Let me introduce myself - I am Anna, John Donaldson's daughter. I run this website to show his work. John has had a huge influence on me. I constantly have creative projects on the go; if I don’t I feel something is missing. I had a wonderful childhood growing up in this beautiful part of South Devon. As a child I had many advantages: having my father at home to work, watching him paint, seeing how he produces something amazing from a blank canvas, the familiar smell of oil paints and turpentine, my mother making up his canvasses in her workshop, a truly creative environment. There were also the painting trips to Provence and Tuscany as well as to his studio in the Languedoc.
John was born in 1945 in Lewes, Sussex, England. By the time he was a teenager he was painting and exhibiting, encouraged by his grandfather, himself a gifted painter. After studying composition and classical organ for six years, he moved to Chichester in 1965 when he met his wife, Sandi. Ten years later he gave into his true vocation as an artist, settling in Devon with his family to paint.
Creativity is the major part of his life and has included design, landscape architecture, jazz, choir-training, and now electronic and dance music. The main component of John’s career has been painting in his impressionist’s style, with light and the weather guiding his work. John’s subjects have ranged from the South Downs , the Ouse Valley and streets of Lewes in his early years, to London’s Thames, Cornwall, Devon and Dorset. Then onto his preoccupation with Brittany, the Cote d’Azur, the Midi of France, and the Italian Riviera and now he enjoys his smaller expressive live studies many of which are of local subjects . “I have a list of images yet to paint, as well as themes to revisit, enough to last a lifetime. Another lifetime.”
This is what has spurred me on to act as a marketing agent for his work through this website. It offers both Giclee prints - which are limited edition reproductions - and original paintings and oil sketches. The prints are digitally reproduced in small editions using light-fast inks on heavy, highest quality watercolour paper. Each one is signed and numbered by the artist. The paintings and sketches are available, unframed, at a reasonable cost to hopefully encourage new collectors as much as established ones.
2015 : Mayne Gallery, Devon - 'Retrospective'
2013 : James Gallery. Devon
2012 : James Gallery. Devon
2007 : Omell Galleries. London - 'Detours - Summer in the Midi'
2005 : Omell Galleries. London - 'Cafes & Promenades'
2004 : Omell Galleries. London - 'Un Souffle du Sud'
2002 : Omell Galleries. London - 'Cote Sud'
2001 : Simon Drew Gallery. Devon
2000 : Omell Galleries. London - 'A Beaker Full of the Warm South'
1998 : John Gillo Gallery. Devon
Omell Galleries. London - 'L'Eclat du Midi'
1996 : Omell Galleries. London - 'De la Montagne - al Mare'
1994 : Omell Galleries. London - 'Sentiers sur les Paysages'
1993 : Omell Galleries. London - 'City Life'
1992 : Galerie Les Amis des Arts. Aix-en-Provence
Omell Galleries. London - 'Le Midi Ensoleille'
1990 : Omell Galleries. London - 'A Celebration of Colour'
1988 : Omell Galleries. London - 'Impressions of a Year'
1987 : The Solent Gallery. Hampshire
1985 : Mayne Gallery. Devon
1986 : Omell Galleries. London - 'Rivers of Light'
1982 : Harris Nott Fletcher Galleries. Devon
1980 : Harris Nott Fletcher Galleries. Devon
Group exhibition venues have included Melbourne, Seattle, Annapolis, Los Angeles, Bermuda, Dartmouth, Kingsbridge, Harrogate, Brighton & Bristol.
"Over the years, my sketches, studies and field work in general have become more 'abstract' in appearance. I suppose the more intuitive and personal marks made at the time helped me to remember not just the details of the subject but the feelings evoked by it."