John St. John
Excerpt from "Visions of Reality in oil paintings"
It all began January 2, 1949 when I entered Norton Gallery and School of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, to study watercolor pointing with Eliot O' Hara and charcoal portrait and life drawing with James Mallory Wilson. These two fine artists are teachers were the first of ten painters whose attitudes and techniques I would study during the next three years, as I began my second career.
Fortunately, I had neither sketched nor painted as a youth nor had I later been a week-end, amateur painter. This made it possible to approach my new career with the mental outlook of a young hopeful professional, in spite of the fact that I was thirty seven years of age.
My background in painting was unencumbered by aesthetic rigidity. There was a decided intellectual and cultural tradition in our family. We were inveterate readers. Our modest home held many great books and the Oak Park Public Library was like a second home. Before his untimely death, my father had purchased and designated an original oil painting for each of his four children.