John Botham was born in 1963 in Grahamstown, located in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, where he grew up and matriculated after an interlude of two years at the Drakensberg Boys Choir School. He went on to study art at Rhodes University, following his passion for art.
After completing a Bachelor of Fine Art Honors degree, John taught art for sixteen years in South Africa and in England. He then embarked on a career as a full-time artist.
Inspired by the South African countryside with its dramatic colours and abstract landscape shapes, he dedicates his days to transforming these images into oils on canvas. “I strive to express in my work a joyous sense of being at ease with my own life, an existence living in peace and harmony with nature. I try to create a new poetic reality through tapestry-like landscapes of light.”
“I am fascinated by the power of colour, and I endeavour in my paintings to search for the mystical longing of light that dwells in all of life. I hope to express an inner tranquillity, in contrast to the fast-moving busy pace of life as it is today.”
He paints the beauty of the landscape, of creation, of magical moments, such as the break of day. His art does not represent the reality we live in South Africa. Instead, it represents a vision of a world of happiness and peace.
His most important inspirations and influences are the linear graphic works of South African painter and printmaker Cecil Skotness, the pure colour of the Fauve painters, the magical world of Peter Bruegel and the harsh light of the German Expressionists.