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Brian Lavery (b.1939)

Brian was born in 1939 in the mining town of Castleford, West Yorkshire, where he attended eight different schools. Because of religious differences, he found it impossible to study, spending much of his time drawing on any available scrap of paper. However, the public library proved to be his saviour, and he was a constant visitor there, absorbing knowledge which he could not acquire at school. From the sage of 9 , he taught himself maths and English and copied Leonardo da Vinci ‘s drawings of hands etc. By the age of 12, he could identify every bird in the UK, having spent many an hour at a nature reserve near his home. At 13, he drew portraits of his uncle and other relatives.

He dearly wanted to become an artist but was told that it wasn’t a “man’s job” and his father pressed him into mining. He decided to make the best of his situation by becoming a mining engineer but left the industry at 39 for the healthier air of Lochinver in Scotland, where he could continue his love of observing wildlife but running a guest house left little time for drawing.

He eventually achieved his dream of becoming a wildlife artist at the age of 65, immediately selling six of his paintings at a nearby book shop. Breaking many of the established rules of painting, he developed his own methods and went on to sell his work through UK galleries, some of his work finding its way to the walls of homes in Florence, France, America and Australia.

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