John Francis Skelton was influenced at an early age by his father the renowned Irish artist, John Skelton. He started painting at the age of eight and upon leaving school, studied at the National College of Art and Design, graduating with an honors Diploma in Fine Arts in 1976. He then traveled to Europe and Africa studying both their painting and culture, thus broadening his knowledge of art. Upon returning to Ireland, John Francis Skelton took a teaching position at the People’s College, Dun Laoghaire. He has also worked as a book illustrator and in his spare time became the Leinster Fencing Champion. His paintings have been accepted by the Hibernian Academy and are in many private collections around the world.
John Francis believes that; ‘in painting, one harmonizes a combination of opposites; light/dark, cool/warm, hard/soft. In painting landscapes, there are added dimensions of depth. For example, near and far, the four seasons and the corresponding vegetation of the time of the year. Also, the abstract phenomena such as heat, cold, the time of the day or night, and the angle of the sun in the sky have to be considered. Whether it is a landscape, seascape, skyscape, or snowscape – earth, air, fire, and water are all at the heat of the ‘matter’. But central to all of these ‘happenings’ which shape our environment is light. Without light, all the above ceases to exist and it is because of this that all the forms, colors, sensations in my painting become subservient to light. So with complete attention paid to the play of light on everything, painting becomes revealed and an exposé of sweet harmonies come alive.’