The search for Joliver’s Painting ! £50 REWARD

Owen  John Oliver   was,by all accounts, an exceptional artist. He was accepted  by the prestigious Slade Art School  in London  , but they had no grants. They suggested Northampton College of Art  where he  got tuition  grant  on a 4 year NDD  course. This qualified him  to teach art, but he  preferred the open road.

Travelling on his three wheel trike with a tent, he  tried to earn a living as a painter in Paris ,in Cornwall ( for three  years) , along the south coast and Kent during 1951-  about 1957.


Owen John Oliver at Northampton Art school (centre back row )

Owen John Oliver at Northampton Art school (centre back row) Probably tickling  Paddy,  his girl friend,  in front of him! 

I think he  signed his work OJO , or possibly John Oliver,  and I believe he  painted in Oils ,  watercolour and did sketches . His subjects were Pubs , landscape , boats , and people working .  A pub crawl round Cornwall seems the most likely way to find his work!

He stopped painting around 1957 because the local newspaper photographer in Rochster was trying to get photos of him painting. It seemed to John  they were more interested in his ‘disability’ than in his ability as an artist. He generally was shy of having  his photo taken and one day , so the story goes ,  he  lost his temper with a Photographer and threw all his art materials into the river. He never painted again.

Its a brief span of active work but his paintings must be out there somewhere!   I’m offering a £50 reward to anyone who provides information which leads to an image  of his work  in the book .

I have contacted all Art Galleries in Cornwall , and the Artists Magazine A-N for help .

John’ s friends , the artists Mags Loxton and Andrew Kennedy have generously given their  images  to the book about  him.

To have  his own work there would be the cherry on the cake !

If you see an original  painting anywhere , but  maybe in a Pub, look at the signature, and you may be the lucky one to find it !


Thanks for reading this blog . Do comment and add your stories about Joliver .    Bye for now …..  Frances






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