John Newman watercolours


Welcome to my website. I lived in the Noosa hinterland on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in Australia until 2017 but have since moved to live in New Zealand where I am still settling in.

All of the work on these pages is sold and for the moment the site is simply a showcase of some of my early paintings and drawings.

I hope you enjoy it.


32 thoughts on “John Newman watercolours”

  1. John, you have been a profound influence and such a marvellous mentor on my art journey. Words can not express my gratitude to both you and your lovely wife Debbie.
    Lisa Jorgensen.

  2. John do you offer prints of your lovely houses? I lived and worked in Brisbane for a few months, and have returned to the USA. Keep up the wonderful work.

  3. Hello
    Where can i see a collection of original paintings please? Do you have a shopfront or online shop with prices? I can’t find your contact page to discuss
    Thanks heaps

    1. Hi Sally, Debbie and I have just moved to New Zealand and are still travelling. We are planning to settle here permanently. I sold up all the work I had in Australia and it will be some months before I am settled enough to start painting again so just at present I cannot offer you anything.
      It is my intention to get a lot smarter with my online marketing to make it easier for people to acquire my work. I will make myself a note to contact you once I am up and running in my new studio.
      Thank you very much for your enquiry
      Best regards John

  4. Hi John, I have just started with the Mary Valley Rattler, we are scheduled to re-open in the first week in December which is very exciting. I have just come across three fabulous pictures of both the Gympie Railway Station and two at Kandanga. I was wondering if we were able to use these pictures and if so do you have them in a higher resolution as I would love to blow them up.

    Please let me know whenever you get a spare minute.

    Kind regards,
    Corinne Mikkelsen

    1. Thanks for your enquiry Corinne. I’m delighted to hear that the Rattler has been able to get sufficient funds to enable it to operate again! In February I moved to live in New Zealand and dumped a few hundred prints including the remaining A4 size stock of four different images of the Mary Valley Rattler. However I gave away to a friend my stock of a few hundred A5 folded letter cards which used to sell well at Kandanga when the Rattler was operational. They are the same four images reduced to card size. I will contact her and see if she is interested in selling them to you wholesale(she has a little shop). They come in a pack of four different images with envelopes and a slip saying how wonderful the artist is. I had to write that myself nobody else could think of anything good to say. My friend or I will be in touch.I have not yet set up my studio but down the track (no pun intended) I could paint some watercolours of the Rattler suitable for prints.
      Cheers John

      1. Hi John. Thank you so much for your response above! I work with Corinne at The Rattler and have a couple of very quick questions I was hoping you could help with. Is there a way I can contact you privately/directly? – Thank you in advance. Michelle

  5. Hi John
    Am interested in purchasing copies of your Townsville drawings. Can you tell if there is a way to order?


  6. Hi John,

    I’d like to speak to you about using one of your paintings on a book cover – please would you email me when you have a moment?

    All best,

  7. Hi john, just wanted to ask if you had done a painting called autumn glory 1968. My great nan had it for years and years and it passed down to my nan who had also looked after it for years. Shes recently passed and now we have this beautiful painting and would love to know if it was your work? 🙂

    1. Thanks for your enquiry Emma, sorry about your Nan also sorry to tell you the painting you mention is not one of mine as I did not begin painting until the late eighties. Good luck with your search. Cheers John

  8. dear John we have acquired two drawings of yours, set up with a quirky real estate ad. One is Mingela Mansion and the other Amazing Business oppportunity.. There is no date – could you supply some details please

    1. Thank you for your message Bette.
      The two drawings you refer to are part of a set of six which I drew in the early nineties. I had an envelope printed and sold the sets in the envelopes. Also many any of the prints were sold individually in frames.
      The Mingela Mansion is a sketch I made of a house in Mingela about 60Klms inland from Townsville in Nth Qld, and the Butcher’s Shop I drew in Ravenswood a mining town south of Ravenswood before the building was demolished by the local council (so I have been told, please don’t quote me!) because it was considered to be unsafe. Whatever the reason it is no longer there.
      All the drawings in the set were of sketches I made of buildings in Nth Qld after 1986.
      There were multiple editions of the prints but they are no longer available.
      I hope this is useful.
      Kind regards

      1. So sorry Bette
        I see I wrote Ravenswood is a mining town town south of itself, it is actually south of Mingela.

  9. Hi John. I have two of your water paintings that ive owned for years now and was wondering if you could give me an appraisal for them. The first one is of the mary valley rattler crossing over a old wooden bridge. And the second is what i believe are some beautiful Frangipanis . If you can help how should i send them to you so you can view them? Im guessing scanning them through but i will wait for your reply.

    Thanking you in advance


    1. Hi Elijah. Yes you will have to scan them and send the files as PDFs please. Also the dimensions of the images excluding the frames. Some details about where and when you acquired them as well as what you wish to know about them. I look forward to hearing from you. John

  10. Hi John, My dad had a Custom Framing shop in Englewood, NJ through which he acquired a bit of artwork. My sibs and I were cleaning out his house and came across a seascape which I believe is yours (your signature has evolved a bit). It is definitely pre-1986. I’ll email you the details and would love to know more about it.

    1. Hi Ann Marie, I doubt very much the work is mine, I was not painting pre 1986 only drawing in pen and ink or graphite although I did draw a few seascapes. Does this help? Cheers John

      1. HI John, thanks for the response. Wow, I thought for sure it was yours as it looks very similar to your work. Is there a way I can share a photo with you?

  11. Hi John, i have been looking for lovely drawings/paintings of queenslander houses to remind me of my early 20s living in queensland.

    i stumbled on a 4 series prints of your painting in “life Line” shop. the 4 prints were “Queenslanders nq”, “visiting/”, “visitors”, and “visiting grandma”. they are brilliant prints, almost like real drawings, i can see the power lines and all the shadows in the pictures, these prints are in good condition and are framed in black frame with silver line on it.

    my question is, are these 4 were your original prints series and when did you draw the originals? and also wonder if the frame is an original eg. did you sell them framed? (there is a short bio at the back). if the frame is original i will leave it as it, if not i would like to change the glass to a non reflective glass.

    thanks you for capturing those queenslander houses, these houses are beautiful and your works are amazing!


    1. Thanks for your enquiry and for your comments on my drawings. All of the black and white prints were from drawings I produced in my studio from sketches I made as I travelled around Queensland. I sold all of the original studio drawings except one which is “Visiting Grandma”. I have lost most of my old sketchbooks in my travels but found one with the original sketch used to draw “Visitors”, it is a house on Boundary Street in South Townsville and I sketched it on 29/02/1992 (I usually note the date and location on my field sketches.)
      Altogether there were about thirty different black and white images. They were sold framed with grey mats with a black core and black frame with a silver line, your prints must be some of those. They were also sold loose. Before leaving Australia I had a studio sale, sold up completely and they are no longer available. I regret not keeping some as people are starting to collect them.
      I hope this answers your questions.

      1. thanks for your reply, am so happy to have the original prints with original frame. thanks for drawing those houses. stay safe.

  12. Hi John, I am in the UK, and would like a step by step of painting Queenslander houses, my daughter lives nr Noosa, at Peregian Beach. I only started watercolours last year, so bit of a novice. I love your style, do you have any books that would help me please. So missing Qld with this virus, cant wait to get back. Be grateful for any help. Thank you

    1. Thank you Caroline for your enquiry and your comments on my work.
      Unfortunately I have no instructional material that would help you, I am so sorry to disappoint you.
      Yes things in the UK sound pretty grim but improving so I hope it is not long before you can return to Australia. We have been very fortunate in NZ to have the government that we have, they managed the pandemic so well, uniting us all.
      An interesting time.
      Good luck with your painting.
      I consider myself an explorer trying to find ways to help my paints behave so that their beauty shines through in the scene that I set. Rather like a movie director helping actors to express whatever it is that motivates him/her, yet the actors personalities are what touch the audience.

  13. Further to my comment [ and sorry for the typo 😀 ] these prints have quite amusing captions underneath them, and none of your other stuff does, so just wanted to check. Thanks again

    1. Hi Teena, sorry about the delay, I’ve been up the coast sketching. The drawings you have probably are some [all?] of a set of six which I sold in an envelope labelled “Queensland Unreal Estate” and I sold some thousands of the sets before I left Australia to live in New Zealand.
      All the places are/were real places. If you think they are from that set I’ll give you a run down of what the buildings really were, this will be meaningless if they are not my drawings, so you should stop reading now.

      MINGELA MANSION: Mingle is about 80KLMs inland from Townsville. There were only three or four houses there plus a police station. A man saw me in the Townsville markets a bit later and said he owned the place and admired my drawing. He said the council had condemned the building and he had to demolish it or renovate the place, so he renovated it. I told him I was glad that I drew it before he had fixed it up, it had more character. He burred up a bit obviously quite offended and said ” Do you mind!! That’s what it was like when I’d finished renovating!” He never did buy a drawing of from me. Actually I had a lot of people who said they knew him and they thought the set would make a great gift for him, he must have hundreds of them by now.

      AMAZING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY! The Butcher’s Shop in Ravenswood just 30/40 KLMs south of Mingela an old gold mining town full of abandoned shops,shacks and mining machinery. I loved that place. The butchers shop was in the main street of the town but the council thought it was dangerous and demolished it not long after I had drawn it. A big open cut mine was operating when I was last there and the town was coming alive again.

      THE BOWEN RIVER HOTEL This is the only surviving hotel left from the bullock team days when they had hotels every 25 miles as that was about a days ride. The hotel is about half and hour drive North of Collinsville on the bank of the Bowen River. It has since been renovated and last time I was there was licensed and serving meals.

      SOLID BEACH HIDEAWAY On the Bruce Highway North of Cardwell this old building was one the most photographed places in QLD. Most people thought it was a romantic home of some long departed pioneer, but in fact it was the ‘tongue room’ at the now gone Cardwell Meatworks. It was moved to this site by the landowner who used it as a tack room, so I’ve been told. I believe it was finally blown away in a cyclone about twenty years ago?

      5 ACRE HOBBY FARM Spotted on a cane farm near Cordelia North of Ingham. My wife Debbie and I plus two kids lived in the bush West of Bowen in a place like this. I loved it but Debbie didn’t like the snakes much, they are hard to keep out with mainly no walls. Healthy fresh air though.

      MACKAYS PAGET RAILWAY STATION This building was in reasonably good condition when I drew it, I have no idea if it is still there. They shifted the railway line so I expect it is long gone.

      In case you wondered, none of the buildings were really for sale, but it surprised me how often I was asked by people how they could get to see them with a view to buying one.

      I hope this helps



  14. Hello John,

    I hope you are settling in to your new home.

    I am contacting you as in an old house I purchased and rented out the tenants found an envelope containing 6 of, what I believe to be, prints of yours depicting tongue in cheek ‘real estate ads’ and would like to have a timeline of when these may have been done?

    Thanks for your time

    Kind regards

    1. Hi Trish
      I drew the six “Unreal Estate” pictures in the mid nineties and sold them mainly in the full sets of six in an envelope with an explanation of the contents, but also as framed single prints. They were all real places, but I know that the “Beach Hut” and the “Butchers Shop” no longer exist. I sold thousands of them beforel 2017 when I left Australia to live in New Zealand. I have painted very little since being here but have started seriously again and loving it.
      I hope this answers you question.

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