The Wapping Group of Artists - Est 1939
Rosemary Miller

John Walsom

I was born in Leicestershire in 1956, and at 18 started my professional life by training as an architect. However in the middle of my course I spent a year selling my paintings on the railings of the Bayswater Road in London, and in my final year I joined the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield to paint their scenery. For five years after qualifying, I kept myself happy designing theatre auditoria in the UK, US, Canada and the Caribbean, before selling all my posessions to pay for a year travelling around the world, during which time I decided to become an architectural photographer and illustrator. That kept me going for another 10 years, after which I started to tire of humping heavy plate cameras, lights and equipment around the country, and concentrated on watercolours and oil paintings.

I worked as an almost exclusively studio-based painter until around 2012, when the solitude of the painter’s life drove me outdoors in search of company. I found the “Brass Monkeys” painting in London on winter Sundays, and through them I was introduced to the illustrious members of the Wapping Group of Artists, whom I had only admired from afar until then. I felt very lucky to be accepted as a candidate, and ultimately a member, of the society. I look forward to every Wednesday of the Summer and our trips to record the delights of different parts of the river together, and the sociable meetings in local pubs at the end of the day.

I’ve always been comfortable painting the built environment, and thanks to my years as a plein air painter I’m now able to add seascapes and rural images to my repertoire.

I’m lucky enough to have works in the collections of HM The Queen, Hampton Court Palace, Harrods, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Oxford University, The University of Cambridge, Historic Royal Palaces, Rolex Watch Co., The National Liberal Club, and private collectors. I’ve exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Show, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, the Royal Society of Marine Artists, the Royal Society of British Artists, Chelsea Art Society, and of course the Wapping Group of Artists. In 2009 I managed to follow in the footsteps of JMW Turner, John Piper, David Gentleman and Sir Hugh Casson, by being commissioned to paint the watercolour for the “Oxford Almanack”, an annual publication of the Oxford University Press since 1676.

In my spare time I’m a bit of a musician. I hope I’m continuing to improve my skills with every painting.