Mad about art as a child, Mervyn had several pictures exhibited on Adrian Hills Sketch Club on TV. He tried to get into a local printing firm’s art department upon leaving school, but ended up in the Chemical Industry as a Colour Matcher in their Laboratory instead. When made redundant (so much for ‘job for life’ as his Father had told him), he tried to become an Art Therapist, but with two small children and a large mortgage, the 5 year training seemed an impossible dream.
The years passed, and apart from the odd pet portrait commissions for Trompel’oeil and faux marbling/woodgrain work for friends who were set/Interior Designers, Mervyn continued to dream until in the early 1990’s his partner (having divorced and ‘come out’ of the closet) persuaded him to attend college. He graduated from the Surry Institute of Art & Design with a degree in Interior Design, but because the industry was changing to CAD no one wanted hand drawn images, and he was unsuccessful in finding suitable employment.
Whilst visiting America Mervyn, along with his Partner Andrew was fortunate enough to meet and talk with the late great ‘Tom of Finland’, and was a guest at the launch Party of his ‘retrospective’ exhibition and book in his Los Angeles house. Whilst an admirer of his work, Mervyn would never dream of emulating his unique style, as other artists have done. But the influence of meeting that great man and his drive and enthusiasm for his art at such a great age has had a profound impact on Mervyn’s determination to continue painting under difficult conditions.
Since January 2003, Mervyn has been battling with cancer, and two lots of radical surgery has meant giving up work and long periods of convalescence, so with time on his hands he has taken up art again. Most of what you see here therefore, is part of a portfolio of work done as therapy while he is recovering his health and strength. A kind friend and fellow artist Gail Clark, has also allowed Mervyn to use her studio in the Clevedon Craft Centre a couple of days a week, which has allowed him to experiment with larger canvases.
Selling work enables Mervyn to buy more materials to continue what has become the love of his life. He sincerely hopes you like what you see, and please feel free to ask any questions and to comment on any of his works, constructive criticism is always welcome to help him improve.