John C. Sayer

"guilty about not being an artist"

My grade 9 Art teacher said I had a unique imagination, and should become an artist as a career, but I got into drugs and booze and a life of crime when I was 12. When I was 16, a cop got me a job and I turned my life around, always thinking about my grade 9 teacher had said. In my late 30's, I thought of becoming a tattoo artist, I took some night school classes at Emily Carr studying Chinese brush painting and watercolours. I quit my job as a scale tech, rented a warehouse, and was going to open a gallery. 3 weeks before the opening, a car turned in front of me while I was riding my motorcycle, almost killing me. While I was in the hospital a friend asked me to do an abstract painting for him. I designed my first abstract using acrylic paint for the first time. It took me 3 years to recover, during which I painted many abstracts, trying to make each one unique. I bought a 44" inkjet printer to make my own prints, maxed out my credit card and had to go back to work, all the while feeling guilty about not being an artist.

Richmond News article Hard To Kill

Richmond Sentinel article Dec 2018

Richmond News article Nov 5, 2003

Richmond News article Apr 10, 2007

When I had my first Art exhibition at a friends hair salon it was the biggest day of my life. All my close friends and family helped and I even tracked down my grade 9 teacher and she came as well. Guests got forms to give names to 20 of my paintings, it was a big hit. My teacher liked one painting the best so I named it Teacher's Pet. When I went onto the sundeck after the show, all my friends cheered and clapped, it was very moving. About a month after the show, I got a call from the Richmond School Board, my teacher was retiring and she requested one of my paintings as a retirement gift. I was her pupil the first year she started teaching and now 31 years later, she was retiring. At her retirement party they gave her the painting that she had liked at my show, she started crying and we hugged. It was very moving. I don't think teachers realize how much they influence our lives.

Life-altering accident March 2018. Hit head on while riding my motorcycle, sustaining 38 upper body fractures and loss of my left leg from above the knee.