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John Wynne Hopkins was born in 1954 in Dafen, Llanelli, Wales and his family emigrated to Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) when he was five weeks old. He was brought up in Africa but returned to Wales to be educated at Llandovery College, Cardiff College of Art and Trinity College Carmarthen, where he trained as an art teacher. Taught in the 'Beacon School', Buckinghamshire before returning to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). He completed a regular army commissioning course at the Rhodesian Army, School of Infantry, Gwelo and served in the 1st Battalion Rhodesian African Rifles. The Rhodesian African Rifles were an elite Fireforce Airborne unit ranked amongst the Airborne and Special Forces units of Southern Africa. His first military commissions were produced at the height of the Rhodesian bush war and were for the 1st Bn. Rhodesian Light Infantry, and the 1st Battalion Rhodesian African Rifles. John returned to Wales in 1982 and for many years has painted wildlife, military and aviation scenes and especially enjoys painting Welsh landscape en plein air. For many years John was Head of the Art Department at Pen Y Bryn Senior Special School until taking early retirement to paint professionally. John has produced numerous painting commissions for the Army Air Corps and various British Army regiments. These commissions have also meant him travelling to a number of trouble spots in the world including Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Kosovo. “I spend many hours painting outdoors and striving to capture the fleeting light and atmosphere of the subject. Working from observation of the Welsh landscape are what matter to me. The pleasure of painting in the field is exhilarating and provides hours of tramping across our beautiful Welsh landscape”.
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