Jonathan, born in 1966, spent his early life near the market town of Leek in the Staffordshire Moorlands. His father, Keith, a more than competent painter, encouraged a natural ability to scribble in young Walker and while he struggled to find a direction in early life, he always found solace in throwing paint about. Having dabbled in fine art, theology and philosophy, he eventually qualified as an occupational therapist, working with people experiencing severe mental health problems. He has been working as a full time artist for the last ten years.
He moved to Devon in 1992 where he now lives with his wife Frances and three young children Laurie, Henry and Florence. Here, the inspiration of the Devon countryside led him to depict the creatures of hedgerow, field and wood in an ever more eccentric manner. He observes a secret world where foxes, badgers and hares (amongst many) take up cast off human garments and sensibilities. Great drama and mischief ensues and, while their characters remind us of ourselves, they are never robbed of their intrinsic “animalness”. Dandies, rakes and rascals, they are all rooted in the landscape, unsentimental and unrepentant.
In many ways this work is familiar, influenced by many wonderful illustrators. It is, however, Jonathan’s draughtsmanship and humour that makes his paintings unmistakably contemporary and unique.