John Ferrie - Artist

John Ferrie is an artist who resides in Vancouver and his medium is acrylic paint on canvas. He has been fortunate to exhibit his work in many wonderful places around the world including Seattle, Hong Kong, Miami, New York and San Francisco, and he has had more than 100 self-produced exhibitions in Vancouver. I had the opportunity to sit and chat with him at his studio recently, talking about his love for art, engaging with people through conversations about art as well as food. His latest exhibition is entitled “Physical Graffiti”.

Growing up did you always have an interest in Painting?

Always, always, being severely dyslexic that was one thing that was easy for me. As a child growing up this was what I always wanted to do.

If you weren’t a Painter what would you be doing professionally?

I can’t imagine my life being anything but a painter. I think I would be a teacher, to give people self esteem, guiding kids.

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Everything such as the ballet, being on the bus and looking at people. I am a success because I do what I love and do what I want everyday.

What is the ONE lasting impression you want to leave in your paintings?

That they are fun, people get to see who I am, get happiness, people see that I worked hard but they find fun in it for the long term.

How would you describe your style of painting?

Whimsical, fearless, dynamic, potent color choices, loaded with pigment, painting light , very good technique, want the paintings to represent something, relaxing the formality of a building.

How did your latest exhibition – Physical Graffiti come about?

I have been painting Vancouver for 5 years now, I saw a documentary that spoke of Vancouver having 18,000 neon signs years ago and that stuck with me and then I went about painting with the neon signs in mind. After listening to a Led Zepplin album that is how I named my exhibition “Physical Graffiti”.

In your travels, which city gives you the most inspiration for your paintings?

Vancouver – my career has taken me all over the world to Mexico, Tokyo, Shanghai, New York, Hong Kong etc but Vancouver is the best city in the world and you can breathe.

Is there a gallery or city you have always wanted to have an exhibition but have yet to do so?

Barcelona and Buenos Aires

Describe your use of colour in your works?

My eye or vision has to have a certain type of colour level to keep me interested. Colour dictates a great deal happening in my work. Colour is absolutely essential for my work, and colour gives artwork a pulse.

What is your favourite cuisine to eat?


What are your favourite dishes to eat either in Vancouver or anywhere in the world you have travelled?

  • Osso Bucco
  • Spaghetti Puttanesca

What is your favourite cookies?

I love Chocolate Chip cookies.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to express themselves to paint professionally?

Young artists should follow their strengths. To be a success as an artist you have to have a knack and you have to put 10,000 hours into it.