Original painting, oil on card
630 x 500mm
John Green took a most unusual route into art - while many dockers in HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, were given day release to attend college and study subjects such as electricity, hydraulics and engineering, John was the only one to be given one day a week to study fine art.
Born at Fareham in 1941 and developing an early love of drawing, John Green’s vivid, naïve paintings of the ships and the old boys working on them in the naval docks take on extra layers of both reality and emotion when one learns that he worked as a rigger among them for 40 years.
John joined the dockyard aged 15 in the Captain of the Port Rigging section. It was 1956 and the home of the British Navy was still a hive of activity, with big grey warships still being built on the main slipway.
"They were exciting times and I felt as if I was surrounded by history," John recalled after taking early retirement.
"Because of my love of drawing I always had some sketching materials which I would use in my break-times. Then I started to take an interest in artists and war artists who had worked in the Portsmouth Dockyard. There were quite a few, but the main ones for me were John D. Ferguson, W.L. Wyllie and Richard Eurich."
John Green's lively pictures of the men and the ships of a recent but bygone age are held in numerous private collections. he continues to paint, sketch and work in collage and other media.