John Harris began painting nearly 40 years ago while stationed abroad with the British Army. To fill his leisure time, he bought a set of paints and paper, and began painting local landscapes and wildlife. He continued this during his various jobs until in 1987 he became a full-time artist.
In 1990 at Hallam University he met his wife, Bonita Ferguson, now an established artist, and they have been together through various interesting projects. This included being resident artists at Renishaw Hall in Derbyshire, where HRH The Prince of Wales, who attended one of their exhibitions and discussed painting techniques.
As a result of exhibiting in galleries, they have pieces of art in private collections around the world, including the USA, Russia, China, France, Switzerland, the UK and Ireland, South Africa, Australia and Japan.
Their range of experience in watercolour, oil and pastel painting in many different styles and subjects became noticed, and for some years they painted copies of Old Masters for private clients and insurance companies, and their work in appears in books, prints and greetings cards. They have also represented many art materials companies such as Derwent Pencils, Clairefontaine Papers and Winsor and Newton Paints on television.
They started a family and life changed: Bonita became an art teacher and John travelled around the country giving painting demonstrations, talks and workshops. Now, Bonita still paints and is Head of Art at a school in Mansfield; John has a studio gallery at The Hub in Retford.
Internationally, John is known for his wildlife paintings and has had exhibitions with the WWT, the RSPB and the National Trust. He also paints landscapes and accepts commissions. Examples of all these can be seen at The Hub, and there is also the opportunity to paint with John in a class or one-to-one, just ask.
Events for April
- 6th — Parent and Child with Louise from 10.00am, £5.00 per child
- 6th — Watercolour with Jennie 12.30pm to 3.45pm, £15.00
- 10th — Cheese and Wine Tasting in aid of Retford Mayflower WI (all welcome) 7.00pm, £5.00
- 15th — Children’s Art Workshop with Amina 10.30am to 2.30pm, £10.00
- 16th — Children’s Art Workshop with Amina, full day, £25.00
- 27th — Lego with Kala, £2.00 per child — drop-in.