All about Jon

The Unreality studio


Born in Windsor in 1958, Jon has moved many times in his life. He now lives in Southsea on the south coast of England, with his wife and a part-time cat and makes his living as a graphic designer.


It was perhaps inevitable that Jon would study art, as he was rarely to be found without a pencil in his hand as a child. He studied illustration at Reigate School of Art from 1977-81. His ambition was to illustrate children’s books and record covers but instead he found himself learning to draw cartoons the old-fashioned way at a greetings card manufacturer. This was followed by a spell working for a cartographic firm, where Jon began to develop his love-hate relationship with the precision his day job demanded and, perhaps as a result, he did not paint at all in the 1980s.

In the 1990s he returned to watercolours, mainly detailed samplers for exhibitions or small cartoon-inspired pictures as gifts for friends.


By 2000 Jon was working as a graphic designer and the advent of computers to that profession meant he had to exchange his paint brushes for a mouse and spend many hours of his free time learning the computer software packages employers were demanding. Art fell by the wayside.


in 2006 he took up painting again, working this time in acrylics because they give him the strong colours that he loves. Since 2006 he has exhibited successfully in many places in the south of England Northern and Southern France and his works have also made their way to USA, Greece and Italy. Two of his recent illustrations have become book covers.


Jon loves puns and wordplay and this can be seen both in the subject matter of his painting and their titles. He does not work towards a true representation but aims to paint freely, deriving inspiration from his love of music and also the sea and things maritime. He wants his art to be playful; it is almost as if the observer is arriving in the middle of a story, maybe a little bizarre like a dream, and it is up to the observer to interpret what is happening. Whenever he feels the need to be more precise, he turns to wood engraving, which he has taken up in the last few years.Jon’s favourite painters include Magritte, Chagall, Otto Dix, Michael Sowa and, for his precision of course , Mondrian!