John Woodland

John was born in Sydney in 1944 and went to school in The Rocks area of Sydney. Here he became interested in the local architecture and shipping around the Port. Later in commercial life I worked for maritime authorities for some 20 years and had the opportunity to observe many aspects of stevedoring operations and a way of life on the Sydney waterfront that has now disappeared.

From an early age his interest was in steamships but later he became interested in tall ships, and in particular the exploits of Gustaf Erikson. These are incorporated in many themes of his work.

He studied oil, and later watercolour, at The Royal Art Society of New South Wales, and over the past 30 years has exhibited regularly at various galleries.

He enjoys drawing in ink and have produced a number of illustrations for greeting cards and limited edition prints. However his work is principally with watercolour to which he was introduced to in the early 1970s. Reproductions have been made for calendars, prints and magazines.

As John says – “Watercolour presents many challenges. Whilst problems are present in compositions with all mediums, watercolour painting represents the most challenging form of expression. My aim is to introduce originality with each opportunity that arises. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t – painting in watercolour allows very little room for error!”

John’s subject material has been maritime art and architecture, and occasionally these are combined. There are two themes in his work. One is to illustrate an event or a way of life. With these compositions he tries to show the hardships that were endured and the conditions that were faced at sea. The second is to illustrate an event from waterfront activity that he remembers, recording it for history since so much of the waterfront has already gone.

Click the thumbnails to see details about each image

Awards & Achievements

  • 2007. Winner of the Royal Motor Yacht Club, NSW
  • Open Art Exhibition 2007 winner – Dobell Festival of Art Exhibition
  • Wangi – Watercolour 2007 winner
  • The Bright Autumn Art Exhibition – Watercolour 2006 & 2003 winner
  • The City of Parramatta Art Exhibition – Watercolour 2006 & 2005 winner
  • The Royal Canberra Art Exhibition – Watercolour 2004 winner
  • Yaralla Art Award – Watercolour 2004
  • Winner of the Fourth National ASMA Adelaide Exhibition People’s Choice Award 2001
  • Winner – The Sailing Heritage Art Priz

In addition to being a Foundation Member and Fellow of the Australian Society of Marine Artists, John is a Member of the Australian Watercolour Institute, a Sydney Fellow of The Royal Art Society of NSW.