John has been working from his Clink
Street studio in Borough Market since returning to London in 2008. While many
of his major paintings since his return to London have been drawn from scenes
of the immediate urban environment of the city, the span of his career has seen
him paint, using the medium of oil on canvas, observations on society. This
includes 'The Treadmill' series which portrays city workers. 'The Ship' series
the idea for which is drawn from a Longfellow poem, the source of the saying
'Like Ships in the Night'. ‘The Last Elephant’ is one of a series based on the
imminent extinction of wild animals in the world of which the 'Last Tiger' is
also included in this theme.
John studied at the Royal Academy Schools London where he graduated with a Masters in painting and won the first prize, a silver medal for life painting. He was artist in residence at York University where he also studied for his Doctorate in art history which has resulted in the publication of the book Matthew Smith ‘A Catalogue Raisonne of the Oil Paintings' 2009.
His creative career has been produced from diverse locations in the UK but his links with Northern England led him back to the region of his birth in Bolton Lancashire. Now returned to London, the city continues to inspire John in his observations of people.