John Killens



Although born in Kent he spent his early life to age 18 in Essex, on the Thames estuary near Southend. This has given him a lifelong love of small boats, muddy creeks and open countryside.

Attending Art College after leaving school, he took a commercial course before joining IPC Business Press for as a staff illustrator. It was through working for the business and technical magazines that he received a thorough grounding in drawing - working on site in factories, aircraft hangers and farms. His job, however, gave little opportunity for expressive work, and he left to take a different career path, painting at weekends and holidays.

His ambition, however, was always to become a full time artist, so he took the plunge and left work in 2000. Painting en plein air, but now with the addition of a studio, he not only enjoys painting marine and landscape, but now is increasingly drawn to urban subjects and interiors. He also likes the different challenge of portrait work. John works in Oil, Watercolour and Pastel.

He has exhibited at the RSMA and ROI open exhibitions at the Mall Galleries, at the RWS and London Life exhibitions at Bankside, and at Galleries across southern England. He was awarded the watercolour prize at the 2009 RSMA exhibition, joint winner of the Artist Magazine 2011 Christmas competition, and achieved a Caran d'Ache award at the 2012 Annual Patchings Open Exhibition.

He has exhibited at Henley Royal Regatta in 2013 and 2014 and also exhibits locally in Sussex where he now lives.

He was elected to the Wapping Group of Artists in 2008 and the Chelsea Art Society in 2014

In 2010 he had a painting purchased by the Cutty Sark Trust which was subsequently reproduced on the hoardings surrounding the conservation project.

Over a 12 month period ending in April 2012 he was appointed artist in residence to the project to build a £3m Community Centre. This resulted in a portfolio of 26 paintings and sketches showing site clearance to the completed building.

His paintings are held in private collections from India to the United States.


January Afternoon - Lewes Allotments   Cutty Sark   Constitution Hill - June 2

© John Killens