Born in 1945 in the heavy industrial mining valley of Maesteg in South Wales, the son of the
local cinema owner, he spent his early years in the busy atmosphere of the cinema and
experienced a heady mixture of life in the raw and the fantasy world of film.
His first experience with paint started at an early age when he used to help his grandfather
create posters in a little studio at the rear of the cinema and soon grew to love the use of
paint and colour and was able get a real "hands on" education.
At the age of 7 he was sent to one of the leading Catholic boarding schools in Great Britain
where he was exposed to the images of great religious painting and soon became infatuated with
the process of producing works of art. Later he moved to the senior College at Bath and soon
shone as a leading student of the arts faculty and was able to gain further inspiration from
the extraordinary atmosphere that existed in that city at the time. After a short period at
Llanelli School of Art he was enrolled in Cardiff College of Art where he won numerous prizes
for his work. His studies took him to Italy where he was able to engross himself in the wealth
of religious painting and to France to visit major collections. His work is still strongly
influenced by this experience.
On returning to his native Wales he continued to paint but life required that he provide for his
growing family so he settled in beautiful and remote West Wales and carved out a living in the
countryside and travelled the world before settling down. He continued to sketch and paint
but was not able to establish a permanent studio until recently and this has given him further
impetus to start once again producing paintings.
He met with the renowned painter Graham Sutherland and was able to study new forms and
approaches to painting and was further inspired by his mentor, the world renowned Tenby artist
Today he has his Studio at a secret location in the heart of the West Wales countryside. He is
not supported by any arts bodies and owes no allegiance to any particular movement and is
totally free to be honest in his approach to his work. Some may find it hard to understand
many of the more abstract images but he is prepared to explain and discuss this with any
genuine purchasers or any one seriously interested in his work.
John Dooner only produces a limited number of works each year and the demand for his work is
While unconventional in his approach to the established art world, he prefers to plough his
own furrow. His work is very wide ranging. He has an almost obsessive need for privacy.
Very few of the works exhibited on this site are for sale. The only way to acquire an original
work is to contact the artist's personal secretary by using the email link at the bottom of
this page. Only substantial bids will be entertained.
Many of his major paintings are in private collections and are therefore not available for
viewing. We have, however, been able to assemble a few of his paintings and some of his latest
works for your perusal.
If you have a major commission or would like to know more please contact the artist's secretary
John Dooner is always open to new and innovative ideas and is now available for lecture tours
and is able to undertake any work from large architectural paintings to personal portraits.