Ferreting through my back art catalogue (to see what I wanted to clean up and edit) I came across this little gem. Throughout my years in the Navy I would draw pictures for the lads to send home to their ladies and then in about 1977 (when we lived in Gibraltar) I began taking art a bit more seriously.
From about 1978 I got heavily into Van Gogh and studied him in depth. Of course I was no Van Gogh but what I gleaned from my reading was his passion for excellence which I began to adopt. Often I would spend days on a piece of work before ripping it up because I wasn’t satisfied with the quality.
At school in the 60s I failed art because I hated the syllabus and the drone like way teachers pushed students to be clones. I began believing all art teachers were failed artists and my respect for them went out of the window.
This tatty certificate relates to a wacky picture I did of over two hundred miners on the pit top in a sort of Heath Robinson style. I still have the picture but its so big I haven’t quite decided how to reproduce it in order to upload it but I will get round to it one day. The picture took first prize at Olympia, Blackpool and set me off on a course of becoming a freelance illustrator for the press. I’m quite glad I found this little memento of a sweet occasion in my art life and was able to photograph it before it completely fades away…..