I describe myself as a Creative because the way I like to work and live is based on the principle of ‘what happens if?’.

In my art and creative work; it allows me to start with a feeling rather than an end image and respond to what is happening with the materials and colours. In addition it helps me to be freer and less controlling and maintain a personal sense of adventure. I enjoy trying new materials and am presently experimenting with making jewellery too. I love inks!

In my personal life too; what happens if at the age of 42 having never drawn before I decided to explore my own creativity? I ended up doing my art foundation at Central St Martins in London plus studying there on a fine art degree course.

What happens if at the age of 47 I decide to convert an old van to live and travel in, leave London and head North to find the route of my name Johan? I found my name is Gaelic and then the van broke down in a remote part of the Scottish West Coast, where I ended I up living for 11 years producing and selling ink sketches as well as experimental photography and running a life drawing group. In between, I tried my hand at various jobs including cooking for archaeologists on the most remote island in the British Isles, St. Kilda, as well as working on the Isle of Canna.

My van 1997
Sketch of the Highlands
Sketch of the Highlands
Kentallen Argyll
Self-portrait in ink
Cottage on St Kilda where I cooked for archaeologists
Sketch of the archaeologists at work

What happens if at 53 I go to Tanzania for 2 weeks to visit a friend? I stayed for 3 months painting wall murals of children’s stories and education material in a local NGO home for Street Children. As well as meeting a local Tanzanian woman in a cafe, who saw me sketching, and told me she had been praying to find someone to illustrate her cook book and would I do it so she could sell it to raise money for her own NGO. I did!

Highlights from Tanzania

Illustrated Cook Book

Tanzanian Sketchbook

What happens if I at 54 against all my own and friends logical arguments I decided to respond to the call to be baptised and then 4 days later took off to China to find a teaching job? Well, the last 12 years, and continuing, have been an adventure and has led me to where I am now both spiritually and creatively. If you want to know more about either just email me.

Dinner with one of my classes in China
School in Lijian
Zhongdian
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