When Johnny left school, there were many interests which ran alongside his career at the time in the City of London as an Aviation Insurance Broker at Lloyds – writing music, playing with a band, tinkering with Vintage cars, marketing various inventions and making painting trips when possible – it wasn’t long before the Arts beckoned and at twenty six he won a place at the Fine Arts Academy in Florence where he moved in 1972.
A year later, moving near Lake Trasimeno, he continued his studies at the Fine Arts Academy in Perugia. Again on the move, he travelled to Pietrasanta near Carrara with some sculptors and stayed on this coast for nearly a year before moving eventually to Grimaldi, just inside Italy – a small medieval village about three hundred yards from the Italian /French frontier close to Monte Carlo.
Here he began a series of backstage paintings – at the Opera and Orchestra rehearsals, fashion shows, at the Circus, Jazz and Cabaret – exhibiting regularly along the coast in Monaco, Nice, Cannes and Antibes.
In 1984, circumstances changed and it was necessary to return to England – where a chance invitation to the races triggered a whole new series ‘At the Races’ which in time produced a wider series entitled ‘The British Sporting Year’ of Polo, The Henley Regatta, Derby Day, Wimbledon, Bowls, Cricket, Golf – even Jousting at Hever Castle. The first exhibition on returning to England was at Oliver Swann’s Gallery, Walton Street, London – and later a series of exhibitions at the Cider House galleries in Bletchingley, Surrey.
Increasingly asked to paint various subjects by commission including several portraits, it was time to close the exhibition side of his career and focus entirely on this commissioned work. From here on, it was to be painting by commission only.
Johnny now lives in Devon with his wife Kathy.