John Cerlienco

I started drawing at a very young age! By the time I was five, I can recall drawing and colouring in Cowboys and Indians riding horses and then cutting them out and fixing these cut-outs to clothes pegs and re-living battle scenes from the Old West, I had recently viewed on movie screens.

The next time that art reared its head, was after I arrived in Australia, where I received top marks in a drawing competition whilst in primary school and soon after winning some prizes on television competitions.

When I was twelve, one of my drawings of a knight on horseback was purchased by a travelling children’s art exhibition.

At that time, I could not believe that someone was willing to pay to have one of my drawings!

But, it was not till a lot later, that I realized I wanted to pursue art as a career, even though I had a very successful track record in jewellery design within the previous years.

Fine art, for me, professionally, really began in 1980!

You can contact me via email at john@johncerlienco.com

Art Education

I once read an article on one of the greatest artists and illustrators, N.C. Wyeth, the father of Andrew Wyeth, whom to this day, is believed to be one of the highest acclaimed American painters.

N.C. Wyeth believed that an artist’s character and style come from within their soul. He believed that to be tutored by another person was absurdly counterproductive, since the pupil would become somewhat of a clone of the teacher and reflect in their work at least some traits of their scholastically inherited visions and techniques.

He believed an artist should learn the building blocks of art, such as perspective, seeing, drawing and form and once proficient in those elements, venture out into the world and find their own individual artistic style.

I am one of those people! – not because my father believed the same thing, but because I formed my own individual painting techniques by teaching myself to see everything around me with my own mind’s eye. You see, I believe that artists are those fortunate few, that see the world in a very different perspective to everyone around them and then are able to transcribe their visions onto a two-dimensional surface, tricking the viewer’s eye into believing it is a three-dimensional form.


1946 – Born in Trieste, Italy
1955 – Immigrated with family to Australia
1962 – Left school to pursue musical career
1967 – Studied gemmology through Gemmological Association of Australia
1969 – Received a Diploma with Distinction in Gemmology
1970 – Set up Centauri creations: Australia wide jewellery design
1973 to 1976 – Lectured in Gemmology at University of Adelaide through WEA
1974 – Won 1974 South Australian Jewellery Design Awards
1974 – Won 1974 australain Jewellery Design Awards
1975 – Won South Australian Jewellery Design Awards
1976 – Appointed as judge for South Australain Jewellery Design Awards
1981 – Sold design business to pursue fine art as career
1981 to current – Professional artist: painting, sculpture, photography
2002 – Developed a personal style of painting ‘Contourism’
2002 to 2009 – Continued with Contourism series exhibiting in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.
2009 to 2017 – Contracted as jewellery designer for established jewellery company in Adelaide, whilst constantly developing more artworks and experimenting with new styles and media.