John Morland: Watercolour painter
John was born in Glastonbury in 1930, and returned here as a young man after serving National Service with his wife Jan to bring up their three children. By now a qualified tanner, he joined his family’s international business of sheepskin manufacturers before changing to make the family’s living from his artwork.
In the early 1970’s he and his wife set up Glastonbury Prints, producing hand painted pictures from John’s fine line drawings of birds and flowers. Their production peaked at a thousand framed pictures a week. During this time The Royal Horticultural Society awarded John their Gold Medal for his studies in flora in 1979, followed in 1981 by their Grenville Medal.
In 1975 Jan and John bought Number 10 High Street and opened Glastonbury Galleries selling pictures and quality giftware. The recession of 1979-1982 brought an end to picture manufacture, but Jan – now aided by their youngest daughter Ruth (me!) – continued running the retail business. After several years of supplying the nation’s golf trade with hand coloured pictures of their greatest golf courses, John at last took to selling his original watercolours. He continued this for some twelve years and by Christmas 2001 he sold his last – it was numbered 1,388.
The front part of the property of Number 10 was sold in 1998. However Ruth has retained the rear part and is now the reincarnated Glastonbury Galleries. John then found yet another dimension to his life by joining the ‘University of the Third Age’ where he passed on his techniques and enthusiasm to groups of watercolour artists.
John passed away in early 2014 but leaves a tremendous legacy of paintings and drawings for all to enjoy and we publish a small selection that we show here. Sadly, for obvious reasons, we can no longer supply them as having been individually ‘signed by the artist’, but they are still exclusive to us.