Can you tell us a little about yourself?
John: ” My name is John Skelcher and I am a Landscape Painting en plein-air. I paint with oils and also watercolour. My studio is just outside a small hill-town called Force in le Marche. le Marche is a beautiful region in central Italy.
When did you start painting?
John: “When i was six years old, my mother bought me paper and some watercolours. She sat me at a table where i could draw, it was her response to my habit of scribbling on the walls. My father worked in a bar. Sometimes i would sit in his car while he worked in the village pub. I would draw the pub. I never noticed being alone or there for hours! Soon I began to win prizes for drawing competitions at school. I had a good teacher in junior school who painted on the blackboard with poster paints I believe. I was impressed at how powerful the medium was for transporting ones perception into alternative realms. That was back in 1978. Although it would be some years later that I studied painting with more disciplined structure. From that point I never stopped seeing the world as a painter.
The first painting I ever sold in a gallery was painted with my girlfriends make-up! Today I am a little more traditional and I paint with oils and watercolours in the main!”
What subjects do you paint?
John: ” Landscape. It never tires! It’s all bound up with the journey to become a better painter. I also enjoy life drawing.”
Are you self-tought or did you study art?
John: “Haha that is a great question. Constable once said that to be self-taught is to have the worst possible teacher. I wouldn’t argue with that. I studied Fine Art at University…but it did not help me to understand the formal principles of classical realism. To obtain that knowledge I studied in Florence and Paris at private Ateliers.”
Career or hobby?
John: ” I am a plein-air painting instructor at the le Marche Retreat, Italy. I have taught and painted for over 30 years. Interestingly I have known hobby painters who are better than professionals. Although they may be rare? I never really noticed when painting stopped being a hobby? Because its all I have ever done, properly. Will your hobby become a career? Only if you let it.
Every now and then I get a famous person coming to my Retreat. Rockstars, Comedians a footballers wife, a tennis stars coach! Even Lady Diana’s Butler! I always ask them about their secrets, it’s amazing what they tell you!”
Have you had any exhibitions?
John: “Yes, I have exhibited internationally and nationally. I have had one man shows in London, Florence and Rome. I have exhibited in groups at the Paris Academy of Art, in group exhibitions in the Florida, US, Moscow Russia. Various towns in Italy. My biggest exhibition was at the Museo dell Duomo, Firenze back in 2016.”
Have you had work published?
John:” Yes, I have been listed as an artist in International competition. The sixth annual plein-air festival at the Lighthouse Gallery, Florida, this was published in Plein-Air Magazine. I was a contestant in the televised event for Sky Arts, landscape painter of the year 2018.”
Which artists inspire you?
John: ” Michael Godfrey”
John: “Anyone wishing to try plein-air painting on one of my courses at the le Marche Retreat can reference this publication to receive a 10% discount.”
Thank you to Dutch Art Box.