John is a versatile artist who enjoys working on a variety of subject matter and with different media. His work currently falls into two areas: a traditional approach to landscapes, portraits, etc. and, secondly, a colourful and decorative style of semi-abstract painting that he has termed, ‘Colour and Motion’.
John grew up in a creative household, both his parents being Artists. His father was a Graphics Designer, Art Director and member of the Society of Botanical Artists. Whilst his parents provided much artistic tuition for him, his formal Art training included courses at Exeter Art College, Falmouth Art College, Winchester Art School and the Slade.
He is a qualified Teacher of Art and Science and was a Head of an Art Department before taking the oppourtunity to focus on his artwork.
A recent exhibition was held at the InterContinental Hotel, Hanoi. Previous to this John has exhibited work in Manhattan (close to the Grand Central Terminal) and also at the well-known cafe, Les Deux Magots, in the centre of Paris. Currently, John has an on-going dispaly of large format artwork at Ashford International Station in the UK.
As well as painting John also enjoys writing. He has written and illustrated a number of children’s stories and is a member of the Society of Authors.
Travels to Australia, Italy, Paris, Scotland, USA and Vietnam have provided much inspiration for John's artwork.
Style and Direction
In Art History terms, Post Modernism defines the current artistic period and it is accepted that all avenues of artistic experimentation have been done. Artists are now looking back at the artwork of past artists to inspire and use in their work. Picasso did this retrospection towards the end of his career, repainting versions of past masters.
Artists at the beginning of the 21st century are both lucky and unlucky, lucky because they can do what they like and there are so many Artists, different artistic styles, media and subject matter to inspire. Unlucky because it has all been done before. Everyone tries to be differnent but end up being the same - often down artistic deadends.
A number of years ago there was a Minimalist Exhibition on ‘Nothing’ at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. The exhibition marked the end of Minimalism; Minimalism taken to its logical conclusion. John wished he had gone and experienced standing in a room with nothing in it. He liked the thought: “Art reduced to nothing. What now? To start again with all we that has been learnt!”.
Whilst John's artwork has been categorized into two areas, Traditional and 'Colour and Motion', there is overlap and his work continues to develop. He is excited for the artistic opportunities ahead and the artwork yet to come.
John Lester, Ha Noi, Vietnam
Live the Dance
To fingertip pause a butterfly dancing in the sky,
I've tried and failed a thousand times,
And faltered in my quest.
Then Buddha said to live the dance,
So now I dance and live.
© John Lester