John Busby

John teaching on his annual 'Seabird drawing course' on the Firth of Forth

John teaching on his annual ‘Seabird drawing course’ on the Firth of Forth.

It is with great sadness we learnt of the death of John Busby earlier this week.

John was a much loved and hugely respected artist, tutor, mentor and friend. His work was admired by all and his ability to capture the life and character of a bird, animal or place was second to none. From deceptively simple-looking pencil and wash sketches to larger and more abstract oils his work was instantly recognisable and inimitable – always lively and fresh. He has tutored, mentored and guided so many artists over the years that his legacy lives on, not just in the vast amount of stunning work he produced, but in the artists he has inspired and nurtured through his teachings, both at the Edinburgh College of Art and at the famous John Busby Seabird Drawing Course.

He has been a a vital and influential member of the Society – a part of its fabric for so many years it is hard to imagine the SWLA and the world of art without him. He will be greatly missed by very many people and our thoughts go out to his wife Joan and to all of his family.

We encourage artists to add their own thoughts, memories and images of John and his work to this post.  Mail to and we will upload them. To visit the page of tributes please click here.

One of many John's  publications that have influenced so many artists

One of John’s publications that has influenced so many artists