This new collection of John’s work covers largely the last couple of years and therefore includes much that has not been seen in print before. The subtitle refers to John’s own assertion that he paints what is in front of him, usually from life rather than sketches, this being the key to the immediacy of his work and the predominance of his use of light and colour, with form often taking a back seat. The selection is John’s own, assisted by his wife Brenda, with an introduction by Steve Hall that provides a brief narrative of John’s life and career to date.
It’s easy to see why John’s work is so popular with other painters, with his simplification of form and his use of light and colour to suggest atmosphere, all very painterly qualities, and this collection will not disappoint. Given that the work is recent, however, and that there should therefore not be issues with the photography, it’s a pity that some of the images are a little less than sharp. It’s only slight, though, and the book is splendid value.