contemporary oil paintings

Biographical Notes




JOHN A. HOOD is a Canadian oil painter based in Toronto who works in a contemporary style that refers strongly to his interest in the painting of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

He is interested in exploring the human figure in relation to the structures, signs and symbols that define our reinvented urban and rural environment in order to investigate how icons like street signs, road markings and vehicles both influence the habitability of these evolved landscapes and map our activity within them.

He also explores the rich sense of identification with specific and familiar or half-recognized locales and atmospheric conditions. The son of author Hugh Hood, O.C. and visual artist Noreen Mallory, he has been particularly influenced by the same idyllic summers along the St. Lawrence River and harsh winters in the vibrant, culturally pluralistic city of Montreal that are also featured leitmotifs in their work.

Hood holds a BFA from Concordia University (Montreal), where he studied with Robert Bourdeau, Landon Mackenzie, Jean McEwen, Marion Wagschal, Eva Brandl and Faye Fayerman. After graduation, he embarked on a career as a muralist, winning his first commission in the summer of 1987. He specialized in large-scale exterior murals with historical themes for the next 20 years, earning an impressive list of private, civic and corporate clients, as well as easel painting and work as a scenic painter for television productions. He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for his body of work and his service to the mural arts community in Ontario. John was elected as a new member of the Ontario Society of Artists in 2018.

In 2008, Hood took a hiatus from painting to develop a career in property management in a live stage venue, the Toronto Centre for the Arts, leaving that job in 2017 to pursue easel painting in oil full-time. He is represented by the John A. Libby Gallery in Toronto; his paintings reside in collections in central and eastern Canada, France and Great Britain.


  • 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • 1996 Toronto Historical Board Award of Merit - History as Theatre Mural
  • 1991 City of Scarborough Urban Design Award - Scarborough Rifle Company Mural


  • Ontario Society of Artists (OSA)
  • Ontario Plein Air Society (OPAS)
  • Artist's Network