John was born and raised in Best, The Netherlands and exposed to arts and architecture at an early age. He went to The School of Graphic Art and Design and received his fine arts degree in graphic design. For a year and a half he worked as a graphic designer, but being confined to an office didn't sit well with him. He decided to take off to live in Greece, where he met Takis and Manos Phoutopoulos. The brothers had a pottery studio and John studied pottery and sculpture with them. They encouraged him to extend his travel experience, which was an enormous life changer for John.
For almost a decade, he traveled and visited many temples, cities, cultures and their people. He was surrounded by symbols and imagery and this immersion set fire to his imagination and his perspective on the world and life. It all left a long lasting impact on his brain.
All of those rich and varied travel experiences prepared the ground and became the basis for John to define and create his own philosophy and language of symbology.
During this period of extensive travel, John and a friend from Wales encountered a Belgian in Hong Kong. He told them about a cheap one way flight to Vancouver.
They arrived in Canada not knowing one single person and with a hundred dollars between them. While working in Kamloops, John met Sehleeah, the woman who would become his wife.
They traveled together, eloped and got married in St Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. On their return to Canada they settled on Quadra Island, British Columbia, where they built their house and studio. In 2003 they had an opportunity to go to Vietnam and lived there for two years. He was fortunate to meet Trinh Tuan master lacquer artist. Trinh Tuan taught lacquer painting at the Hanoi art school and welcomed John to his personal studio. John learned the technique of synthesizing traditional lacquer techniques and modern painting. Working with Trinh Tuan enriched John's life and his creative growth.
While living and working abroad, John absorbed culture through its people, architecture and community. His time in Vietnam was particularly inspiring. He learned about finding creative opportunity in adversity from the Vietnamese; who had lost so much to war and politics, but were able to find creative ways to reclaim their culture and their craft.
John still lives on Quadra Island. He would like to take his wife and three daughters on a new adventure.
1984 Eindhoven, Netherlands – graduated fine arts degree/graphic design
1986 Het Raadhuis Den Bosch – solo exhibition Netherlands
1987-88 Manos and Takis Phoutopoulos, Greece - worked and studied with renowned pottery and sculpture artists
1987-94 – extensive world travel, cultural immersion & work
1994 Old Train Station, Coquitlam – Malaspina Printshop member: etching, mono- printing, lithography, papermaking, paper casting, dyes and pigments
Old Train Station - Solo exhibition – Trapped by Extinction (lg format watercolors)
US Virgin Islands – studied silk painting
1996 & 2013 Maiwa, Vancouver – further studies in silk painting, indigo dying, and plant- based, eco-dyes
2000 Present – Builder from foundation to finishing and renovations
2002: Starfish Glass, Victoria - glass blowing and casting, bead making
The Museum at Campbell River – set design and building, installations, mural painting TideMark Theatre, Campbell River – prop builder and set painter
2003 – 2005 Vietnam – studied lacquer painting with Trinh Tuan, internationally renowned Master Lacquer Painter. Showed works in Hue, Vietman.
2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 – Quadra Island Studio Tour
2011 Campbell River Art Gallery – Curator’s invitational group exhibit Devastating Beauty
2012 DIG Gallery, Discovery Islands – Encaustic Abstracts
2014 Campbell River Art Gallery – Passages and Transformations
2016 Art Square Amsterdam - ( April at The Hermitage)
2016 Pulau Ketam (Malaysia) - Open studio and exhibit