John Maitland was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. He attended Kings College, Newcastle to study art. John has been showing his work since the early 70's in England and his work has been on show in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast since his arrival in Australia in 1975. He has completed many private, church and corporate commissions over the years. John's entry in the "Tribute to Mary McKillop" exhibition was one of the Finalists and was nominated as one of the finest paintings of the show. It was part of a national tour in 1996 and this work was hung in Parliament House, Canberra, the Powerhouse Museum and The State Gallery of South Australia.
Maitland’s skillfully executed oil and acrylic paintings are informed by figurative expressionism and imbued with rigorous colour and texture to denote emotive nuance. The work achieves poignancy through a unique perspective which resonates throughout his cohesive presentation. Drawing on inspiration from visits to the European galleries John has completed several works reflecting his fascination with classical sculptures. These influences were the foundation of the highly acclaimed Grafton Regional Gallery Exhibition where two pieces were acquired for the permanent collection.
During his trips to the UK, Ireland, Florence and Paris he was introduced to a style variation, using found objects and facades. John's work is held in private and corporate collections, such as the Nestle Art Collection, throughout Australia and internationally. He has been asked to present works to the Earl of Lauderdale for his personal collection. Maitland’s work was selected for print in the World Youth Gathering in Australia. It was the largest gathering ever held in Australia with dignitaries and youth from all nations being represented.
Maitland’s innovative style is created and conceived outdoors, exposed to the elements and the extreme heat of the sun. The built-up layers in his paintings are encouraged to crack and fissure giving an aged appearance resembling archaic surfaces. Broad, sweeping brushstrokes and the strength of his paint application give rawness and beauty in an understated way, thus the paradox of power versus gentleness which contributes to the evocative and distinctive character in his paintings.
"Executing broad strokes with a pigment loaded brush, sometimes swishing back and forth with a contrasting colour to react with the subject matter in a discordant fashion, I begin to create an experience for the viewer. I avoid photographic representations in my work, preferring to allow colour, distortion and texture to evoke a response."