John Todd - Freelance Artist

  
 
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Freelance artist, John Todd (b. Sunderland 1946). Married with two daughters, living and working in Richmondshire, North Yorkshire.
 
John grew up in Easington Village, County Durham. His initial interest in art, stemmed from regular observation of his father, Jack's gifted artistic skills. John surprised everybody (including himself!) when a piece of his work was accepted by the Daily Mirror for its travelling art exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
 
His artistic endeavours continued through schooling at the Robert Richardson Grammar School, Ryhope, near Sunderland. In September 1965, he embarked upon a teacher-training course at Bede College, Durham, majoring in Art and Design.
 
He left the college with a division one teaching certificate. At that time, John's work featured in the inaugural exhibition at the then new DLI museum and art gallery at Durham. Two years teaching experience followed, but, keen to take his art interest further, John went on to study a Fine Art degree course (Dip. A.D./BA) at Sunderland Art College. Varied though the course was, he finally settled in to print making, specialising in etching.
 
John exhibited twice during his three year course, initially at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne ("Dorothy's Umbrellas" ~ 1971) and at Billingham Art Gallery (Northern Arts Northern Printmakers). At this time, he was awarded Northern Arts/Pernod 'Printmaker of the Year 1973' (the prints are now officially the property of Northern Arts for exhibition purposes).
 
With a specialist qualification, John moved in to secondary education and for four years headed the Ceramics Department at Brinkburn School, Hartlepool. With four years secondary experience behind him, John became Head of Art at Haughton School, Darlington. Student activities covered the disciplines of painting, drawing, printmaking, 3-D studies and ceramics. He oversaw the introduction of film animation and computer studies.
 
On retiring from the teaching profession in 1987, John embarked on a new career as a freelance artist and facilitator.
 
After initially setting-up ceramic one day workshops for teachers, John moved on to painting large murals, the first at Kader School, Acklam. The most recent being the mural in the new library of Barnard Castle School, Teesdale.
 
For more of John's murals, please click here
 
An invitation to create a sixty metre square mosaic with hand-made ceramic tiles in the yard of Wheatlands School, Redcar, led on to four more similar works of varying sizes. The most recent being the Mo Mowlam Memorial mosaic on Redcar seafront.
 
 
For more of John's mosiacs, please click here
 
Eventuall, following an extended period of mural painting and ceramic installation, printmaking has begun to feature once again in John's work. Using printing-press facilities at Bishop Auckland Arts Centre, he has produced a range of dry-point etchings, the most recent being for the 'Quoitsketcher' series. Three were chosen to feature recently in the inaugural Durham open art exhibition.
 
Recent illustration work has included caricatures commissioned by members of the British Army Parachute Regiment and 8 Transport Regiment.
 
 
Aside from his intense interest in art, John is a keen traveller with a special love for music and drama. Previously, John worked as a radio DJ at his Bishop Auckland Hospital radio station. And, should you ever need the magic of a great 60s/70s/80s band, you can call on John and his successful band “Mosaic” to lift any party occasion.

All pictures and material (C) John Barry Todd 2008

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