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John-Norman Tuck

John-Norman Tuck was born into a family well-known in the German art world. His maternal grandmother, Josephine Nelhans, was an artist in pre-war Berlin during the early part of the 20th century.One piece of his grandmother’s work is in John-Norman’s personal collection.  It was painted in 1908 when she was pregnant with John-Norman’s mother. His grandmother painted in the style of the Old Masters and helps us to understand how John-Norman found his inspiration.  

John –Norman was born in London, England, in 1940, after his family fled from Germany.  His parents were German Jews.  Once in England, life was still difficult for the Tucks. His father, an accountant, was interned by the British because of his nationality, just as the Japanese were interned by the US during the war.  His mother had been a top window designer in Germany, but was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and required long-term hospitalization.  With both parents taken away from him, Tuck was placed in a London orphanage.   

One of John-Norman’s earliest memories is of the German bombardment of London.  “I was sitting on the lap of one of the (orphanage) matrons, when bombs started exploding in our neighborhood.  One exploded directly across the street from us and the shock knocked me out of the matron’s lap, and I began to cry uncontrollably.”  Miraculously, the orphanage was untouched although virtually the entire surrounding area was in ruins.

After the war ended, he was reunited with his father, but his mother never left the hospital.  She died in 1954. Three of this grandparents, including Josephine Nelhans, who would later become his inspiration, perished in the Holocaust.

Wanting to start a new life, John-Norman’s father took his son to the United States of America . He was nine years old when he and his father settled  in Detroit, Michigan.  John-Norman has been artistic all his life.  At the age of twenty, he moved to California and had great success as a hairstylist, owning his own salon “The Hair Affair”, near Pasadena, California.  Something was missing from his life, however. 

In 2000, he re-connected with his high school sweetheart , Marcia, and his life took on a new meaning. They married in 2002. After traveling around the country for eight months in John-Norman’s Corvette convertible, the couple settled in Sarasota  and John-Norman  became focused on his painting. Painting is the passion of his life.  Enjoying his artistic talent has completed him and brought him much peace and joy. 

John-Norman likes to begin his day early, often before sunrise, and then paints for three to four hours. He describes his style of painting as impressionistic, with some realism and abstractism.  In addition, he has started experimenting with mixed media which can be seen in some of his newer people in the People Gallery an at the top of this page. “I’m known for my strokes”, he once said. His paintings are full of bold strokes and rich and lively colors. John-Norman takes a digital camera with him wherever he goes and then paints his version of the images he snaps.

He has been taking lessons from local art teachers, Susan Peck and Julie Hansen, and is always looking to improve his technique and style.  He has been putting together an impressive body of work and has painted over 200 pieces in the last 8 years.

John-Norman has been praised for his work by clients and others.  He has a special touch with color.  His work has deep meaning, great flair and exceptional movement.  Looking at his colors, one feels a style of happiness and great energy.  He lifts life’s beauty to a new standard.

John-Norman recently won a prestigious award for his painting at the Art Center of Sarasota. He has also received numerous awards for volunteering at Art Center Sarasota. He now continues his artistry as a hair stylist (another passion) at Salon Forty-One, and as a talented artist in Sarasota, Florida, where he lives with his wife, Marcia. They both enjoy the friendliness and culture of the Florida west coast in addition to their 12 grandchildren.

In speaking about his life, John-Norman, says  “anything I love, I put my whole heart into”.

John-Norman Tuck is a proud member of

Art Center Sarasota
Bradenton-Sarasota Rose Society The Players Theatre

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