John A. Fernie was born in Dundee, Scotland on December 17, 1919. His formal art training started at Manchester University, England and included a short period at Glasgow University which was interrupted by World War 2, where he served 5 1/2 years as a pilot in the Royal Air Force.
He had been illustrating since 1946 in Toronto, Canada and in New York City since 1948 for major commercial accounts and magazines. While in New York John worked for Troeger-Phillips. In 1950 John and his wife moved to Westport, Connecticut, and established his own New York City studio with his associate, Ted Hankey. Some of their important commercial accounts included Revlon, Cheseborough Ponds, 711 Cosmetics, and Pepsi-Cola. Of the many illustrations he was commissioned to do, the Saturday Evening Post and Cosmopolitan were among the most prestigious. He also did paintings for Broadway theater posters "Bye-Bye Birdie", " Baker Street ", "Les Girls" and the Ice Capades.
At this point in his career John and his wife and three children spent the summer months in London, England and Europe.
At the age of 46 John became very involved with sports car racing and raced an Alfa Romeo with the Sports Car Club of America. In 1969 he moved his family from Westport to Vermont, while continuing to work in New York City. He commuted weekly, leaving on Sunday and returning on Thursday to spend time on the family's 30-acre farm with horses, chickens, goats, and many other animals.
At this point his focus changed regarding his artwork. He maintained some of his commercial accounts and fashion illustration accounts while starting to work on the Vermont scenic watercolors that he is now known for. In 1980 he and his wife June, of 46 years moved to Kennebunkport, Maine where she still lives and where John was very active with his painting. Vermont scenes, Maine coastal scenes, dock scenes, a great favorite, the lobstermen and their boats. For the last 10 years he was busier than ever painting for the U.S. Navy, National Wildlife Federation, and Sons of the American Revolution Christmas cards. John has had work in many art shows and has been involved in shows at New York City's City Center, The Illustrator' Club, New York City and Westport, Connecticut. He has shown and received awards at Norwich University and the Berkshire Art Gallery. He has also shown at Southern Vermont Art Center, Hopkins Center, Stratton Arts Festival, Hudson Valley, Salmagundi Club, American Artists Professional League (AAPL), in New York City.
His paintings and illustrations are in collections in Canada, England, Italy, Spain and throughout the United States.