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Member of staff creates painting of University Campus

John Yeo

'I find it amazing that Whiteknights Lake is situated in the centre of Reading but it is still such a quiet and thoughtful place'

John Yeo, a Technician at the University in the Department of Systems Engineering, has begun a project of creating four paintings of the view across the University Lake, from the direction of Foxhill House.

The four water based oil paintings will depict the lake during the four seasons and aim to reflect the peaceful tranquillity of this particular area on campus.

The project began when John painted a picture of the same scene in pastel for the retirement of his colleague Dirk Heeley. Dirk had urged John to paint a picture of a kingfisher which was living in the bushes of the lake, however the scene was so beautiful that John decided to paint the entire landscape and give the painting as an act of friendship to his colleague of fourteen years. The painting depicts the lake in the Winter, but John considered that it would look stunning in the Summer too and so decided to capture the scene during all four seasons.

The lake itself also has a personal connection for John, as upon coming to the University to work as an Engineer he also decided to complete a degree in History of Art and Architecture. During his time at the University he used the library to begin tracing his family ancestry and discovered that he was a descendant of the Thirteenth Century Yeo's of Heanton Satchville. John descends from the knight Sir William Yeo who was knighted for his services to Earl of Devon Hugh Courtnay at the battle of Crecy. John's own descendants also have a strong connection to the University as both his son and daughter have completed a masters and a PhD here, and John's wife has also studied at Reading University.

Painting is a hobby for John and despite previously being a member of the Reading Guild of Artists, he is entirely self-taught. He regularly visits the Hebridean Island of Iona in Scotland to paint its beautiful scenery, and usually paints with pastel, but felt on this occasion that the more reputable oil would be more appropriate. He used a variety of interesting techniques to paint the picture, even using several parts of a duck's feather from the lake to create the perfect texture for the sky and the trees.

John said; "I really enjoyed working on this painting and I am very proud of the finished piece. I find it amazing that Whiteknights Lake is situated in the centre of Reading but it is still such a quiet and thoughtful place."

John anticipates that the project depicting the lake in all four seasons will be finished in a year's time, and we look forward to seeing the final results.

To see more of John's work please visit his website at

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