Sunday, 15 June 2014

Tribute to my Dad on Father's Day

I thought I'd take the opportunity of Father's Day to show some of my dad's paintings.

I inherited it all from my father. Though I generally take after my mum, an imaginative and aspirational woman who had a great influence on my development, the nuts and bolts of drawing and painting is all from my dad.

Ken Shelley (after Charles Brooking)
Ken was born with a natural ability to paint, but had no opportunity to develop this in the post-war landscape of Birmingham, like many of his generation art school was out of the question, it was straight from school to National Service, then a succession of mechanical jobs in the metropolis. Ken worked tirelessly in often uncomfortable jobs to raise a family, and through that created the carefree space for me to explore my creativity. I was given the chance to pursue art in a way that was entirely denied his generation. I'm incredibly grateful to my parents for that.

Ken Shelley, (after Charles Brooking)
In the meantime Ken's own talent was completely suspended until he retired. Suddenly, with time to pursue art for the first time since he was at school, Ken picked up a paintbrush again and started produced a string of oil paintings, mostly focused on his love of the sea and the heritage of the English countryside.

Ken honed his technique producing copies of the great 18th century sea painters, which is a great way to learn. However he's also painted many of his own compositions, most of them covering the walls of his house, rarely seen by anyone. The next time I visit him I'll take some more photos and post some more.

Please do comment with feedback. Ken rarely paints now, few people ever see his work so he needs some encouragement, I'd love to see him pick up a paint brush again.

I own everything to my parents, however where my dad gets his painting abilities from though is much more of a mystery.

Happy Father's Day dad!


Mike Brownlow said...

I think these are beautiful paintings John. They have real style and feeling. Your Dad obviously has great talent. He should be encouraged to paint more.

Nichol Renee said...

If I saw these in person, I'm almost sure I could stand in front of them forever just picking out details and marveling at the colors.
I hope he does more! They're all so full of life!

John Shelley said...

Thank you everyone! Yes he definitely has an eye for detail and a good understanding of landscape, it's sad that he generally lost momentum after my mum passed away. I encourage him to paint whenever I see him, or even just sketch, but it has to come from him of course, all I can do is prompt.