About The Artist

John Martin Borg took up watercolour painting after graduating in Pharmacy from the University of Malta back in 1977 and exhibited his first works in 1979. Since then his works have gained recognition both locally and abroad.

The artist’s work is decidedly eclectic. He derives inspiration from numerous and varied sources. Since he was born and bred close to Ta’Xbiex, he developed a strong affinity for sea craft and the sea. He is also a lover of the countryside and of the subtle changes in mood it imparts. In order to capture the essence of these elusive moods he has mastered the art of plein-air painting. Painting on location is a unique experience, not only resulting in a spontaneous works of art but also giving pleasure to all the senses. John Martin’s favourite time of day is early morning and one may often encounter him at crack of dawn, laden with his easel, colours and a various selection of watercolour paper, brushes and other equipment, on his way to some favourite spot by the sea. In autumn the allure of the countryside is strong. The cloudy skies and freshness of the grass after the long dry summer are irresistible. This is when the artist in him comes to life.

Painting en plein air is certainly no picnic. The experience however is exhilarating. The works produced are true gems, sometimes ethereal, sometimes defined, sometimes muted and sometimes dramatic – all full of life and all impart the freshness of the outdoors, somehow drawing the viewer into the scene. John Martin Borg affirms, “I always believed it was these magical moments that are the real energy that has fired the artists in me.”

As John Martin Borg’s career progressed, he began experimenting with other subjects. His street-scenes, gardens, churches and buildings exude a unique charm. He also experimented with different media such as acrylics. This resulted in large bold abstracts characterized by radiant colours, many of them concealing a deep spiritual meaning. They are paintings flooded with light, colour and contrast.

Last, but definitely not least, one must mention John Martin Borg’s unique spiritual works. One eminent art connoisseur once referred to them as modern icons and they carry many of the characteristics of traditional icons including the profuse use of gold. They all have profound spiritual significance and invite the viewer to meditate on the particular episode each depicts. One particular aspect of these paintings is that during their creation the artist finds himself on a journey of self-discovery which inevitably leads to his continuous discovery of God.

John martin Borg has been on a long and fruitful journey, one that is very much still on-going. He still devotes a fair amount of time to experimentation. He also organizes workshops and enjoys sharing his expertise with up-and-coming artists.