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Heatherton Park artist picks up his brushes again after 50 years
FOR 50 years he stopped painting after his father told him to get a “proper job”.
Now, in the year since John Abraham, 68, of Heatherton Park, rekindled his passion, he has been laying down the brushwork like he has never been away from the canvas.
He even sold three paintings at an impromptu exhibition at Taunton’s Creative Innovation Centre in April.
He started painting as a teenager in Northampton, where he went to art school part-time, but then he met his future wife, trained as an engineering draughtsman and “went on with his life”.
“I was the eldest of four children and the one who took all the flak from my father, and he was insistent that I go into engineering and get a sensible job,” said John.
“He was very down on the art crowd because I used to mix with all the art students in Northampton and he thought I should be concentrating on my HNC.
“But it was getting married and raising a family that made it seem like I hadn’t the time. Every now and then I’d make some sketches, but I never really sat down and painted.”
In 1998 John met his current partner, Beverley, who uncovered his incredible hidden talent, and last May, on John’s birthday, she booked him on to a short course of painting in Wellington.
“It was just one morning a week for five weeks, two hours each session. To be honest I didn’t want to go at first.”
But he did – and it was almost as if the 50-year hiatus hadn’t happened.
John has been an upholsterer for 30 years, though he’s looking to “cut right down because it’s hard on the wrist and back”.
When the working day ends his upholstery workshop becomes a painter’s studio.
As to the future? “At the moment I like painting skies, and paint from photos and images, but what I really want to do is paint outdoors.”
John will be exhibiting his work at the 10Parishes Festival in Wiveliscombe on September 7-15.
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