The only son of the artist Ivon Hitchens, John was born in Hove, Sussex. After studying at Bedales, Hitchens went on to the Bath Academy of Art, Corsham Court. His first exhibitions were in the 1960s, with his first solo exhibition at Marjorie Parr Gallery, King’s Road, in 1964 and exhibited there for over a decade following. He also exhibited at Ditchling Gallery (1967-71), David Paul Gallery, Chichester (1967-82), and Gilbert Parr Gallery, Chelsea (1977-79). Since 1963 he also had a number of solo exhibitions in public art galleries and institutions, such as Balliol, Hereford and Somerville Colleges in Oxford; Salford City Art Gallery; Leicester University; The Arts Centre, Horsham; Clare College in Cambridge. John Hitchens' work is represented in many public collections, including Brighton Art Gallery, Leicester City Art Gallery and Leicester University, Bradford City Art Gallery, Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne. Various corporations have also acquired his work, such as Security Pacific National Bank, British Steel Corporation, Chase Manhattan Bank in New York. Though his main subject area is the countryside of West Sussex, England, there were also many extended painting periods in North Wales and North West Scotland.