John Gunter Arts
Using natural materials to paint natural environments
(driftwood/ slate) (seas /hills)
My parents’ home area was the North East (my grandfather being a miner) and returning there for secondary education, I was immersed in the industrial heritage that surrounded me. The colours and moods created an atmosphere I needed to record before the shipyards, mines and associated buildings disappeared from sight and memory.
Studying art at teacher training college I worked in sculpture, designing (I believe) the first adventure play area. The ideas came from observing children in physical education lessons and at play.
My teaching career curtailed painting for many years until I began family holidays in warmer climates and residential trips to the south of France. I was intrigued by the light and vibrant colours - so different from the greys of the North East. This influenced the next stage of my art. I had a wall space in our department office that just needed to be filled. This was my first venture into displaying my work and when the pieces were admired I had the confidence to sell them to my colleagues.
After retiring I commandeered our extension as an art area and began painting every day with early morning and late evening being my most creative times. This is my man cave where I can be messy and creative. I began more regular trips back to the north east and once again began painting the area, but my main focus this time was on the ever changing sea and coastline structure. I also began beachcombing for driftwood with the contours and weathering of the wood becoming the inspiration for the painting.
I also search for items that can be reused in an artistic way particularly roof slates, mirrors, trays and even bed slats!
Cycling and walking around White Horse Vale where I live, has inspired me to use natural resources for painting on - reclaimed wood/ slate. This feels more intuitive than a blank canvas waiting for that first mark. They have a story to tell and I am ready to tell it.
It gives me immense pleasure knowing that my artwork is appreciated and they are enjoyed as much as I have enjoyed creating them. I create small pieces to larger framed artwork so people have a choice of whether to hang in the home or in their toilet!
Opening Dates and Times