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John Minton A productive short life Part 2

January 23, 2018

Welcome to part 2 of my homage to artist and illustrator John Minton.

In the early 1950’s Minton traveled to the West Indies.

This study (above right) and painting (below) shows drinkers outside a ramshackle nocturnal bar, aiming to evoke, as Minto put it himself, “a sense of watchfulness, of waiting… a disquiet that is potent and nameless.”

Scenes of rural life and local vegetation all add colour, depth and variety to John’s work.

Workers on the land and sea, both observed and captured in paint.

Earlier in the mid 1940’s John spent some time in Corsica preparing sketches for ” Time Was Away “, accompanying text by Alan Ross with his illustrations. I really like this style of his work.

Some beautiful illustrations here, reminding me of the work of Rena Gardiner, who was also creating prints around this time.

Wonderful use of colours.

Some detailed b/w studies also.

John did figure studies of some of the locals too.

He was also quite mesmerised by observing the Fishermen and drawing them at work.

Some at the docklands near where he lived and others in Cornwall and other parts of the UK coastline.

The many hours that Minton spent haunting the riverside allowed him not only to draw but to enjoy the company of sailors and dockers. Time and again, his pictures feature solitary male figures or distant pairs, huddled together, walking at low tide or working on boats, dwarfed by the surrounding buildings and brooding clouds.

Again using quite a variety of styles, techniques and painting or illustrating materials.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that this is all one person’s work !

Such a prolific artist who worked so diligently, in such a short space of time.

More about John in part 3 on thursday.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2018 4:43 pm

    His work is absolutely astounding. As you wrote, it is mind boggling to realize this is all one person’s work. Gosh, I wish I had some originals! I wouldn’t be able to stop looking at them! I really admire his work done in the West Indies, especially the ‘simple’ composition of the two figures in the boat in that dark blue water. Who could possibly choose a favorite? Not I.

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