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All about Jeremy the artist and the teacher

Jeremy headshot 01.jpg

I was born and grew up in England.  My father was a partner in a firm of accountants and my mother a classical pianist and teacher.  My father loved poetry and painting in watercolours.

As a boy I always enjoyed art and photography.  I was doing my own developing and printing by the age of 10

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Jeremy Holton as a young man

Jeremy Holton as a young man

Smoking as we all did in England in those days

Jeremy in Africa

Jeremy in Africa

Outside my house in Dodoma the capital of Tanzania, where I was working as a geologist

Jeremy Holton as a young man in UK

Jeremy Holton as a young man in UK

Don't ask me what I wa doing on top of that shed

Young man smoking his Peterson pipe

Young man smoking his Peterson pipe

Outside my parent's house

Jeremy Holton artist as a young man

Jeremy Holton artist as a young man

Winter in UK

I moved back to England where I worked in Town Planning for the Kent County Council.  I was responsible for landscape control for the county which was a great job as I spent my time driving around looking at the scenery.


In 1967 I joined BHP and emigrated to Australia where I worked as an iron ore geologist in the Middleback Ranges living in Whyalla in South Australia


While I was in Whyalla I became interested in applying computers to mine planning using the University of Adelaide's Cyber 64 mainframe.  As a result, BHP decided to train me in computing for a job in Head Office.  I was given a week's notice to pack up and move my family (wife and daughter) to Wollongong in NSW.


At that time the only organisations providing IT training in Australia were BHP and the Commonwealth Government and the 6-month course I attended was the first BHP had conducted for Systems Engineers (technical rather than commercial systems).  After the course, I stayed on in Wollongong to specify systems for BHP's Exploration Department.


I was transferred to Head Office in Melbourne where I was the first person with IT training.  I set up systems for the Minerals Exploration Division.  Subsequently, I became responsible for Exploration, Mining and Petroleum Divisions (now the whole of BHP's activities) During this time my first marriage broke up and I moved to a one-room apartment in Carlton.  I studied for an MBA at Melbourne University and took up white water canoeing for some of the most exciting experiences of my life.


My department established the first interactive mine planning systems in the world and we installed systems in most BHP mining sites.  I spent much of my time travelling to visit mining sites.


Unexpectedly I was transferred to Woodside Offshore Petroleum in Perth, Western Australia to establish the group's first IT department.  For nearly a decade my department provided IT services to the Woodside Group during the planning and construction phases of the NW Shelf Gas Project which is one of the largest deepwater gas platforms and LNG plant construction projects in the world.  These were heady times as there were huge amounts of money involved and bringing the project in on time was critical.  I enjoyed regular first-class travel around the world negotiating with suppliers and partners.


At the end of the Construction Phase I left Woodside and joined Ernst & Young Management Consultants as Director of IT Consulting for WA. During the 10 years that I worked as a management consultant, I also studied for a Diploma of Art at Claremont School of Art.  I held my first exhibition at this time.  As a consultant, I was able to work part-time and with my second wife we bought a commercial stone fruit orchard at Mount Helena in the Perth Hills.  It was a good life working hard in the orchard, painting and exhibiting with income from consulting helping to balance the books. With my second wife, we brought up three children at the orchard.  My parents who had been living in Africa and the UK, eventually joined us buying a property in Mount Helena.


My art was going so well that I was able to phase out the consulting over time.  I was having regular solo exhibitions and I had my work in several galleries.


I was well established as an artist, and our children had grown up, but our marriage was having some problems.  


My brother was dying of cancer.  He had found a girlfriend in Thailand who looked after him until he died.  Before his death, he wanted to visit England to say goodbye to his old friends and family.  My parents asked me to go with him as he was not strong.  On the way to England, we stopped over in Thailand for a couple of weeks.  This changed my life as I fell hopelessly in love with a lovely 26-year-old Thai girl.  I have never been cautious and held back from life and this was no different. I moved to Thailand.  I regret the pain I caused but it just happened that way.


I spent most of my time living in a small village in Thailand with my Thai wife Waree.  Here we had our first child Adam.  Thai village lifestyle is so lovely you have to experience to appreciate it.  The people are so poor in wealth but so rich in life, the culture, traditions and beliefs are so strong, there are always people about, chatting, joking, going to the market, the temple.  If you come and stay with us in our arts guest house you can experience Thai village lifestyle, if you will take the time to stop and look.


I built a studio at the back of my new wife's parent's shop and lived on the sales of my paintings throughout the world.  I regularly returned to Australia to see my children and care for my elderly parents.


When mum and dad were in there mid 90's they asked us to come and live in Australia to care for them.  So we moved to Perth and built and extension for my parent's house in Mount Helena.  This included a studio and a small gallery.  We had another child, Toby.  My father reached 100 before he died and my mother 98.


 My mother was a teacher, as was my grandmother, my aunt, and my cousins.  Even though I came from a family of teachers I never considered teaching art until several years ago when I was approached by a local art school.  I found that I really enjoy teaching painting and I seem to be able to help my students.  So I started teaching regularly in addition to painting.


Ten years ago we came across a large run-down building on the banks of the Mekong River in the beautiful town of Phon Phisai not far from Waree's village.  It was built as a large restaurant and then converted into a modest guest house.  We renovated the house to modern first-class Western standards and three years ago opened it as a small arts guest house where I teach painting and we both introduce our guests to the local Thai/Lao culture, scenery, temples, markets, people etc.  Many of our guests are not artists and all of our guests have a wonderful time. 


We spend some time in Thailand each year at the guesthouse where we so much enjoy meeting new people and looking after our guests.  The rest of the time we live in Mount Helena, WA.


In May 2015 our third son, Cody was born so we have a new member of the family.


I now have eight children and four grandchildren.  I have three great loves in my life, family, art and Thailand.  I hope you will enjoy my paintings and please get in touch to say "hello" I always welcome visitors and I have a multitude of social media sites to chat in:) 

Return to gallery     Jeremy's Facebook Thailand Painting Holidays

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