John Ward was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1948. In 1965 he started his career at Ireland's Ardmore Film Studios, working as a scenery artist during the filming of the First World War epic "The Blue Max." He went on to work for the theatre in Dublin and for a number of commercial art studios before immigrating to Canada in 1969.
Upon arrival in Toronto he worked briefly as an illustrator, freelancing for most of Canada's major magazines, before quitting in 1974 to paint full-time. In 1975 he exhibited with The New York Illustrators Society.
In 1993 "Courage to Create", a documentary film about the evolution of his work was broadcast on CBC TV. The film outlines the transition from the "urban" subject matter of his 1970s paintings, to his nature-based works. Since the late 1980s his paintings reflect a place he calls "Entering Nature." He lives in the countryside north of Toronto.
“As I went further into the structure in Nature, I realized that my subject matter
ultimately became a vehicle for light, colour, and the mystery that surrounds us,
and not a study of botany. I will go where it takes me.” - John Ward
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