Jon Houser was born in Surrey in 1958. He then relocated to the county of Pembrokeshire with his parents in the early 1970’s. Although art became a favourite subject at school, a career in mechanical engineering beckoned. Then, later in life, Jon had the opportunity to take an Access to Art course at Carmarthen Art College. This experience reacquainted Jon with his love of painting and drawing and his Artistic talent was quickly spotted.
Jon was diagnosed with Hypopituitarism in 2004. This illness caused him to re-evaluate life and force a slow down in his work load. This presented him with the opportunity to start painting again. Firstly with historic railway scenes, often on large stretched canvases. These paintings were influenced by the wonderful – energetic work of the famous Railway Artist, Terence Cuneo.
“Cuneo’s paintings came to my attention as a young boy, after looking at the illustrations in the 1970″s Triang/Hornby model railway catalogues. It was Cuneo’s dramatic and descriptive brushwork that grabbed my attention”.
In 2015, Jon joined the Guild of Railway Artists as an Associate Member. His painting, titled “The Castle at Neyland” was purchased by the National Library of Wales. And another, titled “Preparing the Shires” went to fellow Artist and ex England and Gloucester Cricketer, Jack Russell MBE .
Jon then started to focus more on Landscape Painting. This was driven by his desire to capture the unique light in Pembrokeshire. And to record this light in paint, he often takes his easel out into the landscape to paint “Plein Air”
“This direct way of working enables a spontaneous approach to capturing the light in the Landscape. It’s an exhilarating way to paint, although challenging, due to the rapidly changing light conditions. Painting a scene in the open air limits working time to about 2 hours. For the larger paintings, several visits to the site may be required, returning when conditions are suitable to complete the work”.
Jon makes small, rapidly executed, oil and pencil sketches on location to capture the essence of a scene. The material gathered out in the landscape, is used to feed back into his studio paintings. But sometimes, a work will be painted solely on location or “Plein air” as this type of painting is referred too. Jon will also paint Still Life and Flowers as an interlude to landscape painting.
Jon was Awarded Best “Plein Air painting” at the 2017 Fresh Paint Competition held by Picton Castle Studio’s and Fine Art Commissions London. Jon’s work is held in private collections worldwide and at the National Library of Wales
Jon has used Michael Harding oil paints for many years now. The quality of paint varies between manufacturers and most add fillers and extenders which decrease the paints resistance to fading. Because of this, he has tried many different brands of paint until he discovered Michael Hardings handmade oil colours. These beautiful paints are produced with the finest pigments, ground in refined cold-pressed linseed oil and free from additives. The paints have luminous brilliant colours with high tint strength.
Jon gets his paints and materials from West of Wales Art Supplies