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

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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