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Folk-Art Tradition: The Art Portfolio of John Caple

A painting of houses by John CapleShady Woods and White Cottages, acrylic on canvas

John Caple is a self-taught artist who creates paintings in a folk-art tradition. The artist tends to work in mixed media, producing scenes of rural and country life that are often infused with memories and figures from his own past.

A painting of a man in a squat white buildingThe Hermitage, acrylic on canvas


John Caple’s paintings are the perfect blend of eerie stillness and warm, children’s-book-style illustrations. They almost remind a little bit of the work of Edward Gorey, who was another expert at combining the macabre with the friendly. Forested scenes take on an intense visual darkness, with tendrils of paint serving as branches of trees – the only visible detail in a see of deep green and black. This darkness is often contrasted with pale white buildings – squat, small houses.


Houses in the woods seem to feature as a prominent motif, and while there’s a sense of isolation in these paintings, there’s also a sense of pleasant, sought-after solitude, a rest well-earned.

A painting of three figures around a tableForest Supper, acrylic on canvas

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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