Light & Colour


Essex Art Club president John Tookey is known for his dynamic bold watercolours that sparkle with light. He will be demonstrating these skills at a Wanstead House event this month

I was born in Ilford in 1947 and attended the Sir John Cass School of Art, London, taking a course in graphic and fine art during the mid-sixties. After working for several small London advertising agencies, I decided to become a full-time artist and tutor in the mid-eighties.

This risky decision was helped by a series of commissions to illustrate four travel books, one of which was East Anglia for Gordon Fraser Books, which proved to be very successful.

This in turn led to galleries wanting to show my work, and a series of successful, one-person shows followed at various galleries in East Anglia.

I work in several mediums, including watercolour, oil, acrylic and pastel. I try to capture the essence of the subject rather than a topographical copy. My inspirational sources are everything around me, from the landscape, townscape, interiors and people.

I will frequently work onsite or from sketches completed at the scene. The effects of light and atmosphere on a subject particularly interest me and both watercolour and pastel are excellent mediums for capturing the fleeting effects of nature.

I have shown work at many of the big society exhibitions at the Mall Galleries, London, and I am a member of the Pastel Society UK and the Institute of East Anglian Artists, as well as President of the Essex Art Club. I currently teach a watercolour class at Bedford House Community Association and also for the Loughton Art Group.

The title of the demonstration for the Essex Art Club will be ‘People and Buildings’ and will be painted in a free and lively style.

John’s demonstration will take place at Wanstead House (21 The Green, Wanstead, E11 2NT) on 23 January from 2.30pm to 4.30pm (visitors: £5). For more information, visit essexartclub.co.uk