The story behind the Egg Man
I moved back to the UK from Greece in December 1980, and subsequently held 8 solo exhibitions in the UK, as well as participating in many group shows all over the country. So now let me show you some of my favourites that I have succeeded in keeping all these years.
The one below is from 1984. It started out as a portrait commission for a farmer’s father, near where I was living at the time in Liversedge, West Yorkshire. I took photos and chose the one I liked best, as he went about his business sorting the eggs, painted the resulting portrait, hand-designed a finished a custom frame and delivered the completed art-work , all ready to hang. A year later I happened to pay them a visit, but was surprised to see it just leaning against a wall. “What’s up” , I asked, “why haven’t you hung it yet?” The father replied, “Oh the frame is too bright and my cardigan is too colourful! ” So I took it back and painted a standard en face portrait using one of the other photos I had shot, put it in a shop bought frame, and finally he was happy! Phew! The original painting now hangs in my front room, and has been so much admired over the years that it now has a much higher price tag – £3,500
I painted this Autumnal oil outdoors in a wooded parkland near Track Lane in Batley, West Yorkshire. The light on the leaves was gently glowing, while the lines created by the branches, trunks and shadows seem to dance towards the two little figures in the distance, counterbalanced by the solidity of the main tree trunk in the foreground. I hand coloured the frame with blue over bronze leaf which has mellowed and melded with the warmer tones in the painting . It has never been exhibited as around this time I stopped showing my work publicly.
My three children and I spent a sunny afternoon, April 1983 , picking and cooking nettles, down by the River Calder by what was then the start of construction of The Cornmill which is now a large Premier Inn at Junction 25 off the M62. You can just see two of them in the centre of the painting, at the river’s edge.
When I first moved to Dewsbury, Park Road fascinated me so much, with each house an individual design, I painted many of them.