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Virtually nobody considered the humble lorry worthy of the subject of a painting until Mike made it so. Years of being at the sharp end of long distance HGV driving has given him an insight and knowledge into the industry that enables Mike to depict lorries as they really were in the past and not the idealized view of the less knowledgeable making him the man to paint an original of your favourite commercial vehicle. He is without a doubt THE lorry artist.
Mikeís first-hand knowledge of buses as a PSV driver for over forty years gives this area of his work a stamp of authenticity and knowledge of the industry so consequently his depictions of buses and coaches have set a standard that others follow. Commission Mike for your very own original on this subject in the knowledge that you are getting the very best man for the job.
Paintings from the age of steam from the only artist with hands on experience of life on the footplate of the real working steam railway of the 1950s when Mike spent over two years as a fireman on the Midland region of British Railways at Saltley shed.. Past clients include many railway enthusiasts, ex-steam locomotive drivers and firemen to the National Railway Museum at York so when you commission Mike for your original steam train painting you will be in good company indeed.
Also being brought up in the midst of war I have always had an interest in the military and as an ex-soldier have had first hand experience of many Army vehicles so who better to depict your favourite military vehicle...I was born in Plymouth, Devon just before WW2 but as far as I know it wasnít me who upset Hitler who nevertheless did his upmost to kill me and my family over the next six years. However we were lucky, for when he bombed Plymouth flat in 1940 my Mum, baby sister and I were untouched because we had been evacuated to live out the War on a farm in Cornwall. My Dad, a sailor in the Royal Navy, on active service on the North Atlantic, Mediterranean and Russian convoys throughout the duration of the War never got his feet wet but my poor Uncle Tom,who I never knew, went down along with nearly half of the crew of the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous which was sunk by a German U-boat in the first week of the War. My Dad and Uncle Tom were shipmates who married two sisters and Dad who at the outbreak of war was serving on the old carrier HMS Furious would have liked nothing better than to have been posted with his friend and brother-in-law onto the more modern Courageous. Such are the fortunes of war and in a broader sense the way life works on such apparently trivial events.
All this you might think has little to do with Art but one of my first memories is of the sleepy lanes around the farm becoming suddenly alive with Army lorries of every shape and size in the build-up to D-Day. All at once I was hooked on lorries, perhaps the air of excitement and the generosity of the American GIs who supplied us urchins with sweets helped, but from that day on I started to draw these wonderful, (to my eyes,) machines on any scrap of paper I could find.
Since then I have never stopped drawing, if you want to be a painter of pictures then start with a pencil, it will give you an appreciation of line, of tone and train your eye on how to represent objects on a two dimensional surface to make them appear three dimensional and will also build your confidence for when you do commit paint to canvas.
Despite, or because of, my interest in Art I was discouraged at every turn by both parents and teachers and to follow a career to get a proper job in an office or even a bank and so I missed out on Art college which I desperately wanted, so I set out to teach myself to paint by studying other artistís work and being my own worst critic.
In protest against my parentís wishes the first job I got on leaving school, much to my parentís dismay, was with British Railways shovelling coal as a fireman on the footplates of steam locomotives from which I get my love of the steam era on the worldís railways.I worked for over two years at Saltley, one of the largest sheds on the system, on every type of job from shunting to express passenger work and on locomotives that varied from little 3F 0.6.0s, Black Fives, Doodlebugs right though to 9F 2.10.0s and despite the hard work, discomforts and dangers of life on the footplate I loved every minute of it. I met and made friends with so many colourful characters, from drivers to the guy who swept the shed floor and will always count it a great privilege to have been part of the elite body of men who gave the railway its unique identity and values.Next came National Service in the British Army who taught me to be a soldier, shoot straight,obey orders and to drive, (lorries naturally,) and I served three years for the Queen and did my duty. Again some of the men I met were such characters and they gave me an insight into human nature and the innate decency of my fellow man. This along with the disipline and respect for the Army and its role in the proud history of my Country will always be with me.Then came many years on the road in civvy street driving lorries, buses and coaches the length and breath of the country before making the break to work full time painting pictures of the subject I know best. Throughout these years, even in the Forces, I continued to draw whenever I had the chance knowing that one day my dream of becoming a professional artist would be realized. I count myself lucky that Iíve always had a goal in life, it isnít concious particularly but more a drive from within and I canít really explain it but like everything it has come at a cost.
I still strive every day to learn more about painting in particular and Art itself in general and continue to make friends with some fine people though my involment in this thing called Art.
Visit my web-site, www.transportartist.co.uk and youíll see what I mean.
Meanwhile I will be posting some other work on this site and hope to get some feed-back, positive or otherwise, to further improve my work because the day an artist sits back and is satisfied with his efforts that is the day he ceases to be an artist!
May I apoligise in advance if I appear to ignore comments, this is because as a working artist I sometimes am away from my computer for days at a time and donít particularly log on every day but do attempt to catch up when I can, thank you.