In the Gallery you will find a selection of my non railway paintings in

Click the thumbnails for large image


Having spent seven years in Cornwall close to the Helford Creeks and the rocky coastline of the Lizard Peninsula I was blessed with the opportunity to paint particularly new material. Now I am returned to Sussex and Aldwick Bognor is yet another very different vista..

I still enjoy teaching a little, exhibit locally, and wait patiently for commissions. The railway artwork I still find most stimulating; power - steam - dirt, what more is there to ask for.

Studio News


For those of you who know me personally, it may come as a surprise to learn that I am as keen to pursue the art of the written word, as I am painting. I suddenly developed the desire to write poetry as early as the late sixties. Even more surprising, especially for me, was the surprising encouragement, from within, to attempt writing a novel. The book venture has smouldered on for about twelve years and apart from the proof reading and all the other disturbing constraints placed upon all who wish to publish, the project is finished. MORE NEWS OF THE BOOK - LATER.

The Infant Master

She stands aloof
displaying proof of her disinterest,
in the quiet halls of the sleeping masters.

I'm watching her,
watching nothing in particular, save
her infant son wielding a busy pencil.
He's spreading himself over the gallery floor,
more engaged than she, who,
is satisfied enough to be
the guardian of an infant artist son.

He'll always be her choice
to outshine these ancient peers.

John Cowley 2012
(as seen at the Tate Gallery)

Awake With My Dreams

My friends voice diminishes,
finishes with a last laugh
and I am left with the short walk
to the moonless allotment path
where I will lengthen my stride
and hope to escape Pucks trickery

Enter in closet darkness
and you will find a backcloth
of black-cloth dreams barring your path,
no light to excite the moth,
silhouettes of apple boughs
appear as black stags or horned cows.

What if I should run into
the enormous porking pig,
he's a big boar, more than twelve hands
if he was pulling a gig.
I've not heard he's escaped of late
there's new bolts fitted to his gate.

Time to breath more easily,
my home signal, the large oak.
I can already smell the welsh coal
and catch sight of curling smoke.
Puck must seek another dreamer,
one whose fantasies are darker.

John Cowley 2012
(boyhood memory)

My soldier father - his homecoming.

It was, no doubt, meant to be a very special moment. A moment to leave an indelible mark on my memory. So what happened?
Something that seared my memory, albeit I was only four, tugged at my sleeve, demanding that I remember and then almost lost the moment forever.

March, May, December, when was it?
I cannot tell you the month or even the day, except to say that clothes were soaping in the sink; So probably it was a wash day Monday if the sobriquet holds true - a wash day with Reckets blue enough to leave my white shirt new. Dad, clothed in khaki strode into the passage between the two houses, his heavy boots echoing on the concrete, I believe he carried a large kit bag on his shoulder. Mum's red hands, soft with lather, were as unready as I was to greet my returning father.

I remember the moment being fraught with uncertainty. It was good - it must have been good; but I didn't know it then.

John Cowley 2011




I never undertook formal art training but spent 25 years as a car-body designer and model-maker. The experience aids me in the precision required for my railway paintings. I am a full member of The Guild Of Railway Artists and have have exhibited at the National Railway Museum York, and Kidderminster Railway Museum.


If you like my paintings and would like to consider a commission then please MAIL ME