John Baxter

John Baxter

John Baxter

  • Biography

    I started painting as a young child, growing up in rural Western Victoria in the 1960’s.
    The landscape intrigued me then and has remained a huge source of inspiration. Fortunately my family encouraged an interest in art and music. While my peers were mastering football and cricket, I spent my childhood in piano and painting classes.
    In my teens life changed dramatically with a move to Melbourne and the shock of leaving the bush for suburban life. The transition came with opportunities, most notably a chance to attend private painting classes with John Balmain, himself a former student of the Max Meldrum school.
    John Balmain mentored me as a young artist, trained my ‘eye’ to understand tone, composition and the rich colours of the Australian landscape. He taught me to appreciate the power and clarity of natural light, best experienced painting ‘plein air’ despite flies, mosquitoes and the odd snake, apparently attracted to my easel and oil paints.
    I learnt life drawing, the discipline of studying still-life and the challenge of portraits. I was inspired to have a teacher whose works were selected for the Archibald prize and I dreamt of a career in Art.
    Despite the culture shock of life in the big city, and the typical roller coaster journey of adolescence, I graduated from year 12 then suddenly had some hard career choices to make. I pragmatically opted to pursue a career in architecture over VCA and RMIT fine arts opportunities. Ironically painting was the major source of funds throughout my years at Melbourne Uni architecture school. I received commissions for portrait and landscape works and held a series of student exhibitions, cobbled together with my enthusiastic but inexperienced circle of creative friends.
    Architecture proved rewarding but in terms of artistic freedom never approached the intensity I had enjoyed in art. In the 80’s my architectural and artistic interests converged when a generous Rotary Foundation undergrad scholarship provided an exciting opportunity to study at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Denmark and travel around Europe exposed me to new ways to look at art and a whole new context in which to develop my skills.
    Recently my work has become more spontaneous currently exploring the ‘cusp’ between realism and abstraction, as I apply traditional techniques through a newfound lens. Each work is a stepping stone to my next exploration. Nature remains a driving force, the colours, light, patterns and movement which I interpret now with vastly greater freedom.
    I throw myself into the creative process and am humbled by how the works speak to different people in individual ways. I’m driven to explore a full spectrum of subjects, the natural environment, urban and social contexts, emotional and personal experiences.
    I want to create art that resonates with people, through sharpening and altering perceptions of the familiar and by exposing them to unfamiliar places, stories, colours and emotions.

Showing all 3 artworks

John Baxter

Winter, Werribee Gorge State Park
51 x 110 cm Acrylic on canvas unframed $1,600.00

John Baxter

Daintree National Park, Tree Tops Walk
110 x 90 cm Acrylic on canvas unframed $2,200.00

John Baxter

Wild Grasses, Port Campbell National Park
91 x 91 cm Acrylic on canvas unframed $2,200.00