John Foster

Commentary - Minor Series

Newborn Lambs

1970, 7 oil paintings

These are spectacular examples of John’s very early works. They feature newborn lambs in their first minutes of life – birth, first steps, and first drink.

It is interesting to note that at this stage John had not yet devised his characteristic J.F. initials, but has signed each painting on the reverse with his full signature. The paintings are undated, though one has ‘September 1970’ inscribed on the reverse.


Sunrise Over Sea

1976, Lithograph prints

This series is a sub-series of Beckoning Land. It features the progression of a sunrise over the ocean.


Bullock Team

1975, Oil paintings, Prints

John was commissioned to paint a bullock team from historical photographs. He became inspired by the images of teams of bullocks dragging kauri logs out of the Northland forests, and extended the work into a series.



Birth of a City

1978, Prints

This small series of prints demonstrates the progression of the development of a city. The projection moves from a horizontal elevation of a skyline to a plan view of a town layout, with the skyline becoming a river.



1992, Woodcut prints

This series was inspired by images and colours from Four Seasons on the Farm. John developed the series of prints into a book for children; detailing a year in the life of a skylark.


A Walk in the Bush

2003, 11 oil paintings, 1 print edition (unsigned)

John’s final works. As his health deteriorated, John was unable to walk far in search of subjects to paint. Instead, he painted plant life visible from the garden.



John painting in the garden

Single Works

Several miscellaneous works. The print Blue Duck is shown here.



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