During the first phase of Jon’s career he produced a considerable variety of commercial work through studios and agencies in London and Brighton.
However, the artist’s principal interest through the whole of his working life was painting. He worked mainly in oils.
It was through landscape and portrait painting that he made a living in the latter part of his career.
The artist also made a significant contribution to community life through involvement in theatre and art clubs and by teaching.
The aim of these pages is to provide a means of exploring the contribution to local and national life that this one artist made in the middle part of the 20th Century.
Landscape and portraiture where the dominant subjects of Jon’s later career.
The first known painting, Welsh Cottage - probably early 30’s - was preserved by the artist’s mother. Virtually all other pre-war work was destroyed when a bomb fell on Parton Street in central London where Jon had stored his work whilst serving in the war.
In the early 1930’s Jon came into the orbit of artist Walter Sickert (1860-1942) and attended classes at Sickert’s atelier at 1 Highbury Place in Islington. Jon’s love of earthy tones and his attempt to capture the play of light on the landscape are influences from this time.
When Jon turned his attention to painting for a living in the early 1960’s, he noted a growing desire amongst the post-war, financially-recovering mainly middle classes, for art works on their walls.
Rural landscapes, coastal scenes and intimate townscapes, the quiet corner of a street, a pot of flowers, all these subjects, along with portraiture, sold well and shaped his output for the next thirty years.
From the early 1960’s until 1972 the American Women’s Club in London asked Jon to run art classes and seminars for members. This, and a couple of spin-offs from it, provided a useful income.
First of the spin-offs was a steady stream of portrait commissions, the second was three (at least) exhibitions of paintings in California.
Here is a summary of key events in Jon peaty’s life.