Watercolour Paintings - Horton in Ribblesdale
Since the 1950’s a number of artists have chosen to live in the village of Horton- in - Ribblesdale, just outside Settle. Norman Adams and his family moved to “Butts” farmhouse cottage in 1958. Vivien John and her family bought a house in the 1950’s.
Vivien was the youngest daughter of the Augustus and Dorelia John. She was born in 1915 into the flamboyant life of Alderney Manor near Poole, Dorset and moved in 1927 to Fryern Court on the edge of the New Forest.
Image: Vivien John in her studio, in the background a portrait of her mother Dorelia by Augustus.
Copyright: The artist's estate.
Her father encouraged her to paint, though gave her minimum instruction. Indeed, when she attended the Slade School of Art in 1932 he warned her against receiving instruction. She left after a year. Much more important to her was the Euston Road School where she studied under William Coldstream and Victor Pasmore in the late thirties and the travels she undertook to Jamaica, Italy and France with her father and other members of the family. She was encouraged in her work by her aunt, the painter Gwen John, as well as family friends such as the painters Mathew Smith and Henry Lamb.
During the war she joined the VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachments) providing medical assistance, and met her husband, Dr J C White, a haematologist at Hammersmith Hospital - a keen walker, pot holer and climber. They married in 1945. In 1947 Dr White was appointed doctor to the British Embassy in Moscow where Vivien had her first son, Yuri.
In 1953 they bought Douk Ghyll Cottage, Horton in Ribblesdale where at every opportunity they came with there two sons to walk and enjoy the countryside. They were neighbours and good friends with Norman Adams and family.
There are a number of paintings by Vivien John available from the Linton Court Gallery.