Most Recent Works- update

I confirm that I will be showing 16 of my recent works at a joint exhibition with Jenny Phillips to be held at the Baird Gallery, 59 Hewitts Road, Christchurch on 30 – 31 March, 2019 between 10 am – 4 pm. All paintings will be for sale.



I can report that my joint exhibition of 30-31 March, 2019 was a great success. Visitor numbers to the gallery were good and several works were sold at good prices.

I am now showing 9 of my more recent works in the themed exhibition ‘ TRANSIENCE ‘ at the Fo Guang Yuan Gallery, 2 Harakeke Street, Riccarton, Christchurch. This exhibition continues through to 13 October, 2019.

I am also part of the ‘ Morant & Friends ‘ Exhibition at Art On the Quay Art Gallery, Kaiapoi where I have 12 works displayed- all for sale.This exhibition, which comprises paintings and pottery, continues through to 31 August, 2019.

BJ       9 August, 2019

Most Recent Works


I present a selection of my most recent works for your viewing pleasure. My painting style is increasingly more abstract: still with a strong emphasis on earthy colours, tone and texture.
I draw on my own inner resources – emotion, intellect, imagination… to create my personal abstract style. I believe in my work – it has meaning and worth. My art is an expression of who I am and my personality. My preferred medium is acrylic on canvas.
In June 2018 I received the Morant Foundation Award for my work ‘ Autumns End ‘ at the juried Arts Canterbury Exhibition ‘ Eclectic Art ‘ held at the Windsor Gallery, Christchurch.
In the latter part of March 2019 I will be exhibiting with another Christchurch artist where I will be presenting some 16 works – all for sale. I will post further details about this Exhibition nearer to the time of the event.
February 2019

The Wall


Old Quarry


The Tablet


Moody Blues – Jazz Concert

Ancient Times




A Wine Lover’s Tour de France

I am pleased to inform  readers that my revised eBook ‘ A Wine Lover’s Tour de France ‘, Kindle Edition, is now available at

It is based on a true story and rated  ‘ a  definite must read ‘ by Katrina Sardis of Katrina’s Book Review, Sydney, Australia. Excerpts of part of this novella have previously appeared on this site. The Kindle Edition gives you the full story.


BARRY JOHNS ( aka Le Vigneron )


News Art

All the best for 2016.

I present another of my recent paintings – acrylic on canvas 24 inches x 18 inches- titled  Light and Movement

Light & Movement

The first term of art classes for me in 2016 started on 1 February. I am looking forward to working with oils and developing my skills and knowledge.I understand that the painting process with oils is slower than with acrylics due to the longer drying time required between coats. On the other hand, oils lend themselves to using heavier applications of paint; use of a palette knife instead of a brush to create texture and interest, and give more vibrancy of colour than do acrylics. I will embrace the opportunity presented to me.

Another aspect of painting is knowing when the particular work is finished. It is very easy to take it too far and lose it. With writing, the skill is knowing what to leave out. These are the challenges I am learning to confront as I grow both as a painter and a writer.


BARRY JOHNS  ( aka Le Vigneron )


I am currently working on two writing projects: a novel and a piece of non-fiction. Away from my writing, I am now attending art classes and have completed some fifteen works to date – all in acrylic paints. From time to time I will post images of selected works for your viewing and comment. I start with one of my recently completed abstract pieces – canvas size 18 x 18 inches which I have titled ‘Three in One’.


Three in One

As with writing, I find painting to be totally absorbing, challenging, but at the same time stimulating and fulfilling. Both involve focus and application to the task at hand, discipline and the ability to work alone. The rewards are there for the taking.

With painting you begin to see the world around you in a different light. You are more aware of colour, form, light and shade and mood. You are constantly seeking out new subjects to paint and challenging yourself as you seek to develop your own style. I love it!


BARRY JOHNS ( Le Vigneron )


Twelth Excerpt – Winegrower

The 2012 season followed a similar pattern to that of 2011, with the main focus being to maximize the sauvignon blanc and pinot noir crops. Our sauvignon blanc had built up a strong regional following over many years – it was our biggest selling wine. It was known to be the top selling wine annually over a 6- year period for the Nor’ Wester Café, a highly regarded Amberley restaurant. It is interesting to note that our biggest selling wine was the least awarded of all our varieties in New Zealand wine shows. Our pinot noir, too, was a very popular and well regarded variety. Everyone seemed to love our riesling wine – though it was always a hard sell as a variety. Again, some crop was traded with local wineries in return for winemaking services. This strategy was aimed at reducing financial outlay and controlling cash flow requirements. The downside was reduced production for our own label.

For the 2013 season the vineyard was managed by a local winery under a crop sharing arrangement. This enabled us to focus on business issues and to be more actively involved with the agents retained to sell the vineyard. It was essential for the vineyard to be fully managed in keeping with industry best practices throughout this process.

Our latter years on the vineyard saw us adopting the practice of grazing sheep at different times of the year. A group of local farmers were willing to pay for grazing at between 50 cents to 75 cents a head per week. This applied to a number of vineyards around us as well. They would move the stock in and use their own battery charged electric fences to graze parts of the vineyard on a rotational basis. We ensured that there was ample stock water available.  The numbers could be as many as 250-300 sheep grazing in our vineyard on occasions. The times that best suited us were immediately after the completion of harvest, usually May, and up to and including the start of winter pruning in June through to the end of September in each year. Another opportune time was in January when the grapes were still green. The sheep could graze the inter-row ground cover and also enjoy a change of diet by eating the leaves of the vines within the fruit zone, to allow more light into the canopy around the fruit and improve ripening. By February the berries would start to ripen and the sheep would need to be off the property for the next 3-4 months. The sheep were an added source of income, they provided certain nutrients to the soil, and generally improved the ambiance of our rural setting.

In 2012 our appointed rural agents had a 90 day sole agency in which to concentrate their efforts. At the end of that time, and despite a reasonable level of inquiry and even viewings by 3 potential parties, a sale contract could not be achieved. It was left to us to pursue our own strategy which led to serious discussions with another Waipara Valley wine producer. Over many months of meetings and negotiations we were finally able to put together a conditional contract with Dancing Water Ltd. All the time we were under pressure from our bankers to achieve such an outcome. The Bank had certain expectations around a sale that needed to be accommodated, so far as possible. They were supportive and adopted a tolerant position in working through the sale process. I had been working closely with the Bank’s business risk manager in Christchurch over a period of some 2 years to that point. I had monthly meetings with Peter which also involved our accountant and an independent business adviser, assisting on a pro-bono basis. These meetings covered reporting on sales activity, projections, debtors and creditors, and cash flow. From time to time our overdraft facility needed tweeking to relieve some of the cash flow pressure. It was a tough time: we got through it with the Bank’s understanding and support and, more especially, the time and effort put in by our accountant and the independent business adviser fighting the good fight with us. They walked in our shoes and bore the pain with us.


BARRY JOHNS ( aka Le Vigneron )