(Words and photos by Marie-Hélène Morell)
“I’m always torn between my love of creating visual images and making music” – JP
John Pottle is a visual artist and musician who lives and works in Saint John New Brunswick. His style tends toward realism and sometimes surrealism, with often a hint of humour or dark twist thrown in. He was recently featured in Issue #4 of CreatedHere magazine, and I wanted to shine a spotlight on him once again as part of the #100NBartists project and add him to the directory.
I actually wrote about John for the Telegraph-Journal when he was about to have his big show at the Saint John Arts Centre last fall. My mom and I visited him in his studio in uptown Saint John, and had a great chat about his work, inspiration and creative journey. He has pieces in his studio from just about every stage of his long career, even some finished projects by his art classes from his high school teaching days. It’s fascinating to see how his style has changed over the years.
John’s studio is in a old heritage building in uptown Saint John, and it is just teeny tiny (he packs a lot in there) but it has good light from windows facing the bay, which keeps his many plants very happy. In the summer months John and his wife Joanna try to spend as much time as they can at the Washademoak lake, where they have a family cottage, but the rest of the time he is in his studio painting.
Is it a jungle? Nope, just John Pottle’s studio.
One thing I love about John is his sense of humour. You can see it in his paintings and the way he displays his work, and even in the way he refused to take our photoshoot seriously. I love his painting of a marsh on a cloudy day, which was painstakingly done on 13 panels which can then be attached and rearranged any which way on a special frame he had custom built for the piece. He had another painting that had a flap that opened up like a book. When I visited him he was experimenting with glow-in-the-dark paint! It will be exciting to see what he comes up with next.
Find John in the CreatedHere directory, and find his work at Buckland Merrifield Gallery.