In Scotland by the end of the Second World War four painters in particular were speaking with authority: Gillies 1898-1973, Maxwell 1905-62, MacTaggart 1903 -81 and Redpath 1895-1963, now commonly identified as the 'Edinburgh School'. For each of them France held a special attraction with studies under French masters, extensive journeys in the South and long residencies.
Teaching in the Drawing and Painting School at Edinburgh College of Art was very traditional and concentrated on the figure and still life. But a love of the physical texture of paint and a use of rich colour had a tremendous impact on several generations of students after Gillies, Maxwell and MacTaggart taught there. At Edinburgh College of Art in the 1970s John Slavin sensed strongly the living tradition of painting from the Edinburgh School. Sir Robin Philipson was head of drawing and painting there and recognized in John Slavin those qualities which he welcomed in a student; a desire for an immediacy of experience in the sensual qualities of paint, in the use of paint a concern for its beauty and physical being. One of John Slavin's tutors in painting was Denis Peploe, son of the Scottish colourist. It was exposure to this ethos which guided Slavin himself eventually to France.
In 2014 John Slavin formed an alliance with fellow Scot Graham Worrall, who is now working as John Slavin's agent and dealer internationally.