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Finding Inspiration in the Vibrant Colour Palettes of John Dyer's Caribbean Art

  • 5 min read

John Dyer painting the caribbean coast of Costa Rica

Above: John Dyer painting on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Photo courtesy David Ashe

British artist John Dyer found his inspiration for painting whilst in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil in 1989. Tropical plants, with their energetic and dynamic shapes, have informed the artist's paintings ever since. In the early 1990s, the artist returned to his native Cornwall, where he had grown up as Cornwall benefits from the Gulf Stream warm water current that wells up in the Gulf of Mexico and transports the heat to the far-off coast of Cornwall. This heat has allowed many Caribbean and sub-tropical plants to thrive in the region providing John Dyer with endless tropical and Caribbean wall art inspiration.

The Eden Project

In the year 2000, John Dyer was appointed as the artist in residence for the largest captive tropical forest in the world at the iconic Eden Project in Cornwall. This residency which he is still involved with today (2023) provided a wealth of opportunities and soon John Dyer found himself being asked to travel and explore other tropical parts of the world through his canvas and paints.

Costa Rica - Caribbean Coast

John Dyer Painting. 'Rainforest Banana Bonanza, Costa Rica'. Caribbean Art Gallery.

Above: John Dyer Painting. 'Rainforest Banana Bonanza, Costa Rica'.

In 2003 the CGIAR (Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research) organisation INIBAP (now Bioversity International) flew John Dyer to the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica to paint the banana and cacao harvests.

"We asked John Dyer to paint bananas in Costa Rica because they are a smallholder crop – grown in people’s back gardens and farms along with lots of other fruits and vegetables. John’s pictures are about diversity and bringing out what might pass unseen. In this case, it seems to have been scorpions!"

Charlotte Lusty. International Network for the Improvement of Banana and Plantain: 2003

John Dyer painting Caribbean art in Costa Rica

Above: John Dyer at work on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Photo courtesy David Ashe

The artist explored the vibrant sunshine-filled colours of the rainforest, the hummingbirds, tropical Caribbean birds and insects, the bright Caribbean flowers and the organic smallholder banana farms along the coast.

"The Caribbean colours and light were fantastic, and to wake up each morning to the sound of Howler monkeys and the constant hum of the rainforest was magical. I loved painting the tall palm trees, the sizeable expressive banana leaves and the rich fauna and flora of this unique Caribbean environment."

John Dyer 2003

Caribbean Palm Trees

In several of John Dyer's final paintings, the extraordinary Caribbean palm trees set the stage. The coconut palms hang out across the beach and Caribbean ocean, almost defying gravity with their unusually tall and elastic feel.

'Blue Seas and Coconut Trees, Costa Rica Beach' Caribbean Wall Art Print

John Dyer Framed Open Edition Cornish Art Print. 'Blue Seas and Coconut Trees, Costa Rica Beach'. Caribbean Art Gallery

Above: John Dyer Framed Open Edition Cornish Art Print. 'Blue Seas and Coconut Trees, Costa Rica Beach'. Buy online.

Painting on the beach on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, the artist was drawn to the relaxed and colourful feel of life near the Panama border. Coconut palm trees grow out of the sand, turkey vultures strut along the shore, locals and tourists enjoy the warm Caribbean ocean, and the locals kick back and chat by the side of the road. The palms are laden with coconuts, and the artist's use of a vibrant deep blue for the sky and sea sets of orange colours and vibrant lime greens perfectly. An open-edition museum-quality wall art print of this remarkable paint is available online from The John Dyer Gallery.

'Swaying Caribbean Coconuts, Costa Rica' Original Caribbean Art Painting and Art Print

John Dyer Painting. 'Swaying Caribbean Coconuts, Costa Rica'. Caribbean Art Gallery.

Above: John Dyer Painting. 'Swaying Caribbean Coconuts, Costa Rica'
Also available as a museum-quality art print

The composition and use of Caribbean colour in this John Dyer original painting are remarkable. There are echoes of Paul Gauguin's tropical paintings of Tahiti. The artist has used the curves and forms of the palms to significant effect to create sweeping arcs that move our eye around the canvas. His use of colour adds a 'colour story' to move our eye across the vibrant patches of orange from the coconut where the artist has signed to the girl's dress, fallen coconuts on the beach and then the soaring heights of the arching palms as they lean across the darkened sands of the volcanically formed Caribbean beach. This stunning original piece of John Dyer's Caribbean art is available in our gallery alongside a museum-quality art print of this Caribbean painting.

'Caribbean Beach Life, Costa Rica' Original Caribbean Art Painting and Art Print

John Dyer Painting. 'Caribbean Beach Life, Costa Rica'. Caribbean Art Gallery

Above: John Dyer Painting. 'Caribbean Beach Life, Costa Rica'.
Also available as an open-edition Caribbean art print

If you are looking for Caribbean-inspired art for your home or office decor, then this John Dyer Caribbean painting and wall art print, 'Caribbean Beach Life' is perfect. John Dyer has captured the wild Caribbean coast with fallen tropical trees, rainforest crabs, vultures and impossibly tall pams that sway against the blue sky. Locals cycle past the beach, and we see sunbathers and swimmers. This is a real celebration of the Caribbean way of life which echoes the acclaimed series of paintings by French artist Paul Gauguin when he lived and painted in Tahiti. Both artists are capturing the ethno-botanical feel of the place and painting the essence of their subject.

Caribbean Art and weddings

Cayman Islands

Above: John Dyer Fine Art Print 'Caribbean Wedding at the Grand Old House, Cayman Islands'. Buy framed online | Buy unframed online

John Dyer is famous worldwide for his stunning paintings of the natural world. Many collectors of his art have noted the similarity between his lush and vibrant paintings of Cornwall and what can be seen in the Caribbean. The Caribbean is a trendy location for weddings with the wildlife, sunshine, tropical birds, warm ocean, romantic locations and vibrant colours, so it is hardly surprising that John Dyer has been commissioned on several occasions to capture the tropical Caribbean paradise and celebration on canvas.

This iconic image of the Grand Old House wedding setting on the Cayman Islands is the perfect image and piece of art for so many couples as it epitomises the Caribbean wedding dream and has so many of the artist's famous elements, including his famous seagulls and his dynamic use of line and colour.

You can buy museum-quality art prints of 'Caribbean Wedding at the Grand Old House, Cayman Islands' on our online gallery now.

British Virgin Islands

John Dyer Fine Art Print. Open Edition Cornish Art Print. 'Magical Day at Marina Cay'. British Virgin Islands Caribbean Art Gallery

Above: John Dyer Fine Art Print 'Magical Day at Marina Cay'. Buy framed online | Buy unframed online

The tiny island of Marina Cay in the Caribbean has inspired this gorgeous and utterly romantic tropical piece of Caribbean art by John Dyer. Right in the centre of the painting, a couple embrace on the beach with their families celebrating on the Caribbean beach. The island of Marina Cay is depicted as surrounded by colourful activity with bright colours used to fantastic effect. The brilliant blue and turquoise water is filled with an array of boats. Pelicans and frigate birds fly around the island, and fish, swimmers, and mermaids join in celebrating life and love. This painting is available as a Caribbean art print in a range of sizes and, as with all celebration works of art, can inspire every day.

Discover more John Dyer Caribbean art and tropical paintings

We hope you have enjoyed discovering some of John Dyer's unique Caribbean art and that you will continue your exploration of art on our gallery. The artist's paintings of Cornwall will also resonate with you with their tropical plants and bright colours. Discover all about artist John Dyer on our gallery now and discover why he is one of Britain's leading modern painters and environmental artists with his role as an artist for the Earth with and his residence with the Eden Project and being the founder of Last Chance to Paint.

Discover all the Caribbean-inspired art, paintings and prints for your home and office in our online gallery.


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