Born 1946 and educated in Blackburn, John developed an interest in both sketching and train spotting from an early age. Influenced by the work of Terence Cuneo he began to attend art classes and start to paint trains and cars in gouache in his spare time whilst working for a variety of companies as an illustrator and artist. These different roles helped to develop his skill of drawing and helped launch his professional career in the late sixties. He was soon receiving commissions to paint in oil by galleries in Manchester and London to paint the local architecture and street life in these cities during the 1880's and early 1900's. Commissions were varied including one for Wedgewood to paint village life scenes.
John's love of transport ensures that all his paintings include a train, bus, tram, car or horse and cart and since the 1980's he has chose to paint almost exclusively in acrylic.
His nostalgic scenes of city and village life were portrayed in a book entitled 'John Chapman's Lancashire' in 2002. The much changed landscape was brought back to life in over 100 illustrations.