Painting nurses whilst whispering verses…

“Thank You Natalie”  (May 2020) – Acrylic on canvas, 20cm x 20cm

The whole idea of painting portraits of NHS workers, nurses, doctors, for free wasn’t my idea, it was something started via Instagram by an artist called Tom Croft using the #portraitsfornhsheroes hashtag, something that lots of us artists have joined in with.. Now I have all kinds of issues with this dreadful Tory government and the way they are failing us all during these times of pandemic, I have lots of issues in terms of how they treat us all with such utter contempt, how they treat the NHS and how they’ve cynically hijacked the goodwill of the general public. I don’t like the way the NHS is now being treated like a charity rather than something we all pay for, the way those who voted Tory hypocritically stand there clapping on a Thursday night and the sight of Boris and his gang standing there clapping is particularly sickening. I’m uncomfortable with the whole narrative, I have nothing but respect and admiration for the nurses, doctors,  the health care workers, the porters, the cleaners.  And so Tom Croft’s idea of painting portraits and giving them to the subject as a thank you was something I really wanted to join in with. I don’t usually paint portraits,  but this seemed like a a very very good reason to do something I haven’t done for a long long time, it was a challenge, it continues to be a challenge, there’s more coming, I’ve painted two so far.  The way it worked was that the invitation was posted on Instagram and NHS workers invited to get in contact with the artists offering to paint the portrait, I did ask for a cleaner or a porter to get in touch, can’t forget the cleaners, not sure if I’d be brave enough to work as a cleaner on a covid ward! I didn’t hear back from a cleaner or a porter, maybe I still will? I did hear from the mother of a guy called Loz. Loz is a Health Care Assistant at Arrow Park Hospital on the Wirral, Merseyside (North West England) on a ward that takes suspected covid patients.  Loz’s mother has told me some of the stories, it isn’t my place to share them here but hey, thank you Loz!  And thanks to Loz’s mum for making contact.


The second person to get in touch was Rachel, she contacted me about her partner Natalie.  Natalie in a nurse, a matron actually, at the Royal London Hospital, she had to postpone her wedding that was due to happen in March, they cancelled it with just four days notice so Natalie didn;t take time off work and such, and Natalie has, according to Rachel  “has been saving lives ever since”  It really is an honour to paint these portraits, to hopefully bring a little something by way of a very small thank you to some wonderful people. Painting them does take me out of my comfort zone a little, I can’t say I’m one hundred percent happy with the results so far, it is something I will carry on doing, I do really want to paint a cleaner. it is a privilege, thank you Natalie and Rachel, thank you Loz and mum. More coming…    

Margate skyline No.10 (The Turner Contemporary)” – April 2020 – acrylic on cardboard, 10cm x 15cm

I have of course still been painting rooftops and skyplines and leaves and such. i did paint a postcard size series of Skyline pieces, one of which was donated to a show called  Feed NHS at Highgate Contemporary Gallery – An on-line exhibition of postcard size paintings, all proceeds from the sale “will be donated to ‘Feed NHS’ which is a campaign set up by the restaurant chain Leon. They are looking to raise money to help feed NHS workers and critical care staff one hot, healthy meal each day, starting with the hardest hit London hospitals, then going national to ‘Feed the NHS’. Our NHS heroes are already working 20 hour shifts and these hours will only get longer as the crisis worsens. With cafés and eateries all shut there is a real need to get healthy, hot food to the hospitals”. All pieces are posted anonymously, all pieces on sale at £50, once a piece has sold we artists will be informed and the piece will be sent out. View the show here. The show went live on the morning of April 19yj, it appears my piece sold as soon as the show opened but there are lots of interesting pieces to be seen and bought via the gallery.

And there are always fresh leaves and laters  this is a piece called “Reality?”, a piece completed last weekend (and sold already I’m pleased to say, right now iwith all gallery shows and art fairs and such cancelled, any sale is more than welcome, rent still needs to be paid, bird seed to buy)

“Reality?” (May 2020) – acrylic on canvas, 20cm x 20cm

The postcard sized paintings that weren’t donated to the FEED NHS show are still on sales, £20 each including postage… do, as always, ask if you see something you are interested in hanging on your wall. feel free to get in touch and ask,

Postcard size skyline paintings, 10cm x 15cm on cardboard.

This is one of the bigger skyline paintings, a painting of the Turner Contemporary in Margate, it now lives in a house in France, on a wall that seems to fit the painting rather well… sw_skyline_flathat_house