Intuition Takes Over – Artist Insights from John LeCours

“I am an intuitive painter,” says artist John LeCours. “I have a lot of training, but at a certain point I need to put all that aside and grab what is around me and start making marks.”

After the Storm

LeCours joined Maine Art Hill last fall with a fabulously successful kick off show. Since then he has displayed his work at The Gallery at 14 Western Ave. Right now, we are excited to have him as one of three featured artists at Shows on Maine Art Hill, the gallery at 5 Chase Hill Road.

LeCours has a very distinctive style. Using oil paint and a graphite stick he creates one of a kind classic landscapes that are capturing attention daily. Of course with this new popularity comes the inevitable question, how does he do it?


A few years ago, after a few months of prodding, LeCours caved and joined fellow artist Peggy Murray in a plein air session. It had taken Murray quite a bit of time to convince LeCours to change it up and come “paint outside.” She took him to Four Tree Island in Portsmouth which, by the way, is still one of his favorite places to paint.

Portsmouth Harbor, Four Tree Island View

“I admit to becoming a bit stale in the studio. I needed a change. I brought a 10×20 canvas with me and was throwing paint around, scratching with my palette knife, and using some pencil marks,” explains LeCours. “I don’t know what was getting into me. I don’t remember learning this. I believe I picked up bits and pieces from different teachers, but I was combining some weird things. I just said… ‘Why not?’”

At one point during this day, a man and his daughter stopped to talk and later inquired about purchasing the piece. This interest caused LeCours to take pause, especially once he returned to his studio and compared this work to others.

Piscataqua Buoy

“I had just finished this plein air sketch in an hour. Compared to my studio work that I had spent hours on, it just blew them away. There was no comparison,” says LeCours. “The plein air work had more energy, more vitality. It was more real than the studio work. Because it had come from a three-dimensional world and I was reacting to the elements, even the wind, it had more life. It had all fed into my creativity.”

To this day, for LeCours this is still the best way to paint. To be outside in the elements and to react. He lets those marks respond authentically. He still takes work back to the studio and adds layers, but often he finishes the entire piece outside.

Harbor Lights


John LeCours is one of three artists with featured work at Shows on Maine Art Hill. This show runs through September 20. We are proud to represent LeCours and always have a collection of his work between all four of our gallery spaces.

Please stop by for a visit or see his work online by clicking this link. John LeCours – Artist Page

To read more from John LeCours click here – Artist Insights – John LeCours