John Foker completed an art foundation course at West Surrey College of Art & Design and studied fine art at Norwich School of Art graduating with a BA (hons) degree in 1987.
After college John moved to Durham, became a founder member of Bearpark Artists’ Co-operative and for the past 20 years has shared a studio workshop with three friends and colleagues at Bearpark Community Centre.
Birds are nearly always in my paintings, but the colours, textures and space that surround them are as important to me as the birds themselves. I try to recreate the atmosphere of a particular place – an autumn woodland with the rasp of a jay and the smell of damp oak leaves.
I usually begin by spending time in the field - observing, absorbing, drawing.
I then work up ideas in to paintings in the studio, often using oil on board. I love the possibilities that oil paint offers and being able to model forms, change them and nudge them around or scrape them away altogether and start again.
The size of my work varies greatly from post card size paintings to three and a half metre long drawings.
I feel very fortunate to have lived in areas that hold some fantastic wildlife whether it’s the hills of Durham, the luminous Norfolk landscape or the fragile lowland heathlands of Surrey where I grew up. They all have great variety and present multiple challenges of expression.
Westleton Chapel, Suffolk September 1987
Belle Vue Gallery, Wandsworth Common, London June 1990
Van Mildert College, Durham University Jan 2011
Durham City Town Hall, May 2012
Pinkfoot Gallery, Cley, Norfolk – September 2014
With Bearpark Artists Co-op –
Hatfield College, Durham University July 1996
DLI Gallery & Museum – January 2007
Kreishaus, Kreis Wesel, Germany June 2012
Josephine Butler College, Durham University, 2013
Society of Wildlife Artists Annual Exhibition Mall Galleries, London
October & November 2013 and 2014