Aerial view of VIU campus

John MacNeill

R. John MacNeill, occasionally known as Jack or Jake, born in Ontario, was a graduate of Queen's University and California Institute of Technology. He was a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario and British Columbia.

He lived and travelled extensively in many parts of the world, and his painting reflect these geographic wanderings. Beginning in 1972 he made his home on Canada's Pacific coast, but he continued to travel frequently, gathering subject matter in sketches and photos. Following a successful career as an Exploration Geologist, he turned to painting.

John's favourite genre was watercolours, although he occasionally worked with equal expertise in oils and acrylics. He also taught in all three media. A limited edition of his biography, entitled "A Canadian Geologist-Artist" was printed in 1996 and authored by Amanda Thompson of Nanaimo. This 180-page edition outlines his early life and two successful careers. 

In 1981, John was awarded the status of Associate FCA. Several of his paintings toured Britain in a joint show with the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour. His mentors and teachers included Andre Bieler, Adrian Dingle, jack Pollock and Frederick Bates. John's watercolour techniques were influenced by west coast artists such as Allan Edwards, Robert Hiram Meltzer, Milford Zornes, Robert Landry, Harry Heine, Alan Wylie, Robert Genn, and others.

John passed away in 2008. His works are in private collections throughout Canada, the US, the UK, Europe and Australia.

Back to the Denise MacNeill Memorial Endowment