John Honeywill has taught in secondary schools, mainly to seniors since the early 1970’s. He has been Head of the Art Dept at Somerville House since 1987. John has combined his teaching with his painting practice and has been represented by Philip Bacon Galleries since 2001.
John is joining the panel with Pat Hoffie, Kevin Grealy and Merv for In Conversation with Merv Moriarty at the Judith Wright Centre on 8 October.
How and when did you first come to be involved with Flying Arts?
In 1973 when I was 20, I was transferred to Bundaberg to teach art at one of the secondary schools there. I started attending Eastaus (Flying Arts) in either late 1973 or 1974. I cannot remember how or why, I started painting there and must have heard along the grape vine. I was aware of Merv as an artist and had seen his paintings/exhibitions when a student in Brisbane.
What was your first impression of ‘the flying artist’ himself?
I was completely enchanted by Merv like everyone else. He was very charismatic and as my training was limited to only 2 years, I was certainly in need of more. Apart from Merv as a person, his knowledge, sensitivities to art making and teaching were wonderful.
What was the most profound learning or experience you gained from Merv’s teachings/your involvement with Flying Arts?
Colour and the respect for the making process and materials. The lessons in the booklets that Merv provided – wonderful! The artists he sometimes brought with him. And what he demonstrated to me as a very young art teacher as a teacher – profound influence.
Where can you see this influence in your practice/career today?
The most evident presence is the teaching of colour, but so much more – and from the other AFAS teachers Bela Ivanyi and Roy Churcher as well.
- John Honeywill
- Roses 2015, John Honeywill, Oil on Linen, Courtesy of Philip Bacon Galleries and the artist
Photograph: Jon Linkins
- Zucchini Flowers II 2015, John Honeywill, Oil on Linen, Courtesy of Philip Bacon Galleries and the artist Photograph: Jon Linkins