December 12 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 30, 2013
A retired builder who only took up painting to fill his time after he stopped working said he was “thrilled” to be chosen to produce a series of water colours for an official town calendar.
Former carpenter Vernon Lever, from Long Melford, was commissioned by Sudbury Town Council to create 12 paintings featuring well known scenes and landmarks in the town to make up the official calendar for 2014 which was launched on Saturday.
The council usually includes photographic scenes on its calendars but this year decided to go with paintings to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the unveiling of the statue of famous artist Thomas Gainsborough, which takes pride of place in the centre of the town.
The calendar’s launch took place at Sudbury’s Tourist Information Office where Mr Lever was on hand to sign copies of the calendar and full size prints.
Mr Lever, 67, who only started painting eight years ago, said: “ It’s a real honour to be chosen. I was born and brought up in Sudbury and for my work to be chosen for the official calendar is like a dream come true. I’m thrilled - I guess it’s a case of ‘local chippy makes good’.
“I’d never painted before but I knew I had to find something to fill my time after I retired so I went to a few classes and kept at it.
“At the same time I started volunteering at Melford Hall where there are number of Beatrix Potter drawings, and I was influenced by her style.
“I usually paint a lot of buildings and my background as a carpenter has helped me with the perspective of the buildings in my pictures,” added Mr Lever who is now chairman of Lavenham Arts Society.
In addition to the 12 paintings for each month of the year, an additional painting of an unidentified area of the Sudbury is included in the calendar. People who purchase the calendar are being asked to name the location and enter a prize draw with the winner receiving a signed print by Mr Lever.
Town clerk Sue Brotherwood said: “We have worked with Mr Lever before and we really like his work and that is why we commissioned him to paint the images for the calendar. We are delighted with the results.”