Jonathan was born in East Sussex in 1930. He studied painting at Hastings and BournemouthColleges of Art and in 1952 served 2 years in the R.A.F. In 1954 he and his wife Elisabeth, also a painter, moved to Pembrokeshire where he taught at FishguardSchool from 1954-1981. In 1971 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and in 1974 an associate member of the Royal Watercolour Society. He was made a full member in 1978.
In recent years Jonathan has been absorbed in executing a series of watercolours of inshore seascapes and estuaries particularly at early morning and late evening on calm days. The ever changing light peculiar to the sea and seashore is a constant wonder and delight and is the true subject of these pictures.
More recently his work has developed into depicting outdoor still-lifes mainly of buoys, seaweed, ropes etc. It is interesting to note that the work has become larger.
Writing about his work in the RWS book “The Watercolour Expert”, Jonathan comments “I take great care in deciding on the area sizes of sky, sea and land. And in the same way the placing, direction and size of forms such as boats, buoys, ropes and shadows are of great importance. I prefer using large relatively empty areas of sky, sea or sand and play these off against the much smaller detailed ones of boats, etc. The large areas help to convey a sense of spaciousness. I would like my pictures to be completely satisfying in their organisation so that nothing could be moved or changed without upsetting the balance. However, quiet static pictures can be dull, but when a composition achieves this sense of order, it has a tautness and vitality of its own.”
His work is held in a number of private and public collections.
Jonathan first exhibited at Gorstella Gallery in May 1991 and has exhibited many times since.