A passion for sports art …I found myself subsequently painting much more than playing.

As the son of an amateur artist I became familiar from an early age with the strange smell of linseed oil and turpentine. In the village community in which I spent my formative and teenage years it was a way of life and nearly obligatory to be sports minded. A ‘never-a-dull-moment’ sort of place full of local role models (and older brothers if you had them) all seemingly good at either football/ cricket/ running and varying codes of pugilism – at the boxing club you had to learn to roll your stomach like a human spin dryer, which during a short-lived attendance, I never could. Very few had television and radio didn’t keep a budding Matthews or Compton indoors, when rain never stopped play. People all had jobs, worked hard and mostly played hard – with a pre-programmed psyche of competition with a capital C. When I was ten my only desire was to obtain my first pair of football boots and was selected to play in goal for my Boys Junior School Team – wicked !

I attended classes at Mansfield School of Art at that time (under Principal Phillip Sutton), and the charcoal covered fingers and fleeting glimpses into the life-classrooms were indelible ‘new world’ experiences, though did strangely result in stimulating my interest in the opposite of posed stillness. Following which, my involvement in studying figurative movement and sport combined, for if not playing cricket or football every daylight hour of every day I was sketching some athletic action or other. I remember also at this time I entered a competition in a national newspaper with a crayoned action drawing of my idol – goalkeeper Bert Williams of Wolves and England fame – and won first prize of a box of Reeves watercolour paints – which I still have! Ever since playing in goal for that junior school side and local league teams on – just to try to emulate him even a little bit was powerfully all embracing. Real reliable role models are rare.

Anyway, left with my footballing pipe dreams I remained undiscovered by the scouts from Forest, Wolves or Notts County et al (though still hopeful, don’t think it’s going to happen now) and found myself subsequently painting much more than playing sports.  However perhaps just as gratifyingly I did later appear a number of times at the great Wembley Stadium  …  with displays of my sports paintings.

…painting sports and other subjects in oils is therapeutic and challenging

Imagery & the Colour of Movement

I now always paint in oils and acrylics, using brush and knife in a range of textures from a thin brushed wash through to a heavy knifed impasto – not cutting edge electronically speaking – though a well proven method of making a picture. My application has developed over 35 years or so by mostly being more concerned with the loose application of positive colours rather than the clinical line and detailed illustrative precision. It has proved a steep learning curve attempting to impact the desired emotion in this way.

The pliability and colour-fusion of painting in oils is therapeutic and challenging. The same process is easier applied but the end product harder to attain when using fast-drying acrylics for, unlike oils, it just refuses to be pushed around. It demands a kind of strata-painting in order to build up the same desired interference of tone and mark or ghosting effect – something I aspire to in trying to capture the transient colour of movement in its millisecond instant – action in stillness.


“Brian began painting at junior school where teachers recognised his talent and encouraged him to attend art college. Following an apprenticeship in engineering, Brian launched his own production engineering company, filing a number of development patents and later became a successful entrepreneur – managing businesses involved in the design and manufacture of mining machinery, acrylic fabrications, textiles equipment, sportswear and screenprinting development – still painting in his spare time.

In 1990 he decided to become a full-time artist. Since then his work has been commissioned and collected by businesses and sports personalities. His unique ability to ’capture the moment’ makes his work particularly relevant to the sponsor yet remaining appealing to the casual viewer. Such is its appeal you can find Brian’s sports, music and corporate artwork in boardrooms, reception areas, offices and the private houses of business leaders, as collectors or as a gift from colleagues”  …   Richard Johnson

“Brian’s work is obviously getting the recognition it rightly deserves.”

Sir Alex Ferguson