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John Preston

John Preston etcher and painter
Etching, painting
St Barnabas Press, Coldham's Road ,Cambridge

John Preston      6 Golding Rd  Cambridge CB1 3RP    07803 362513

Born 1952.  Married, with 1 step-daughter and 4 step-grandchildren.  I have always painted and drawn, notably in travels around Italy, including over 4 months between school and University. I studied Architecture and Art History at Cambridge, becoming a Town Planner and then a Conservation Officer;  I was Historic Environment Manager for Cambridge until 2012.  I am now a freelance Artist, Historic Environment Consultant and Lecturer, also leading on Sustainability issues for the Institute of Historic Building Conservation.

I had long wanted to try printmaking, with the opportunities it offers for both keeping an image and taking it further.  It was in 1980 that I finally found an evening printmaking class at CCAT in Cambridge, and I was eagerly led to etching: soon afterwards I was elected a member of the Cambridge Drawing Society. Studios in Cambridge, Spain, and Cornwall gave me springboards for further development.   Until 2001 I was a regular Drawing Society and Cambridge Open Studios exhibitor.    Now, following a break from artistic activity, my studio is at St Barnabas Press in Cambridge;  I was re-elected a member of the Cambridge Drawing Society in 2014, and I will once again be taking part in Cambridge Open Studios in 2015.  

My work has focused mainly on buildings and landscape, and capturing atmosphere.  I often use sugar lift aquatint, a challenging and risky technique which featured strongly in my tree-themed exhibition “Silver Silvium” with Neil Warmsley at Williams Art in in 2013.

 In 2011 I had an amazing stroke of luck when the Chinese printmaker Yu Cheng Yu visited Cambridge for his exhibition at St Barnabas Press. The Chinese delegation bought a large number of my prints, and I was invited to exhibit in China.  This led to my sold-out 2014 exhibition (arranged by Aimin Hill of Art China) with Jenny Sanders at the Heilongjiang Province Fine Art Museum in Harbin; also a second exhibition in the Showsy Gallery, Ningbo near Shanghai. 

My Old Fire Engine House exhibition in November 2014 included watercolours of the Fens and of Lough Swilly in Donegal, plus acrylics of Tuscany.  The etchings include tree-themed work produced for my 2013 exhibition, plus new images of Italy, Cambridge and Ely – and our kitten. 

 Open Exhibitions including

East of England Show 1981-94 (best picture 1985, prizewinner four times)

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 1984, 1985

Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers 1984, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991
Premio De Grabado Maximo Ramos (Ferrol, Spain) 1990, 1991

Shared and invitation exhibitions including

20th Century British Etchings, Sebastian Pearson Gallery, Cambridge 1990, 1994

Venice City of the Winged Lion, Stephen Bartley Gallery, London 1991

National Print Exhibition 1998

Printmakers of Cambridge 1999

The Art of Printmaking, Williams Art, Cambridge 2010


One and two person shows including

Old Fire Engine House, Ely   1983, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1997, 2000, 2014

London Weekend Television Centre 1985, 1986

“Silver Silvium”  (trees) with Neil Warmsley, Williams Art, Cambridge 2013

Heilongjiang Province Fine Art Museum, Harbin, China 2014

(invited lead artist in exhibition with Jenny Sanders, all my 50 pictures sold)

Showsy Gallery, Ningbo, China 2014 (shared with Jenny Sanders).

DSC 0617
IMG 2042
DSC 0614
IMG 1987
IMG 2852
IMG 2035
DSC 0609
IMG 2846
DSC 0616
DSC 0323
IMG 2839
IMG 2847
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IMG 2832
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