John Skelton (1925 - 2009)
John Skelton was born in Co. Armagh in the north of Ireland in 1925. He studied at Queen's University in Belfast, before enrolling in the Belfast College of Art. On graduating from the Belfast College of Art, he moved to London where he studied at St. Martin's School of Art. His paintings at this time were influenced by the Euston Road School of painters, a group of artists who focussed very much on representational painting in opposition to the various schools of modernist art that were prevalent in the late 1930's in London. In 1950, Skelton moved to Dublin, where he worked as an art director for an advertising agency, and also produced illustrations for various books. In 1975, he decided to devote himself to painting full-time, and subsequently held a number of successful solo exhibitions in Ireland, in Dublin and Belfast, and in the United States, in Los Angeles and Connecticut. His paintings were also regularly accepted for exhibition at the annual Royal Hibernian Academy exhibitions and the Watercolour Society of Ireland exhibitions. During the 1970's and 1980's he also worked as an art teacher and lecturer at the National College of Art in Dublin. As an artist, John Skelton painted primarily the Irish landscape and the lives of people in rural Ireland, and his paintings, whether those of fishermen in traditional Irish currachs off the coast of Galway, or farmers selling cattle in a county village, have an innate charm and an air of nostalgia, for a traditional way of life, that has become a rarer sight in contemporary Ireland.