John is realtively new to painting and is establishing himself at Papunya Tjupi, a town with a rich history of nurturing Indigenous artists.
John's dreaming is Yuwalki - his father's country. His mother is Debra McDonald and was born in Papunya where he attended school before boarding at Yirara College in Alice Springs. John joined Papunya Tjupi Arts in November 2007 after completing school. He said this is the first time he has painted. Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula was his father's brother. John learned how to paint by watching his uncle/father when he was a boy. John's brother Andrew Tolson Tjakamarra painted for papunya Tula Artists.