He’s a good bet

Lancashire Life - - Label Hjhjhjhj - WORDS: Paul Macken­zie

Some of the lo­cal scenes painted by artist Steven Rigby start as sketches

on the back bet­ting slips

Steven Rigby moved to South­port more than 20 years ago to work in water treat­ment, and when he isn’t do­ing that, he’s work­ing in wa­ter­colours.

As an artist, he likes to paint ur­ban scenes fea­tur­ing some of the town’s most fa­mous land­marks. His gallery also con­tains paint­ings of Liver­pool’s fa­mous water­front and cityscapes of Euro­pean cap­i­tals.

Orig­i­nally from Run­corn, he is largely self-taught but trav­elled to Aus­tralia to study un­der ac­claimed Aussie artist Joseph Zbukvic.

But many of his favourite paint­ings – such as the ones on th­ese pages – are of his home town. He likes to work in situ when the weather al­lows, but also works at home, us­ing from pho­to­graphs and sketches. And many of the sketches he makes are done on the backs of bet­ting slips.

‘I take bet­ting slips and pens from the book­ies when I go in to put a bet on the foot­ball. They’re free art ma­te­ri­als,’ he says.

‘I try to cre­ate at­mos­phere and mood in my paint­ings. It’s about tone, rather than colour. I don’t use many colours, it’s about light.

‘I like rainy paint­ings and I like paint­ing build­ings, par­tic­u­larly the Liver Build­ing in Liver­pool and the build­ings along Lord Street in South­port, with Trin­ity Church at one end and the clock tower at the other. I tend to in­clude one of those big ver­ti­cals in my work.’

And there was an­other big ver­ti­cal in the piece he cre­ated for Sky’s Land­scape Pain­ter of the Year pro­gramme. He ap­peared on the show this au­tumn, paint­ing a coastal scene near Ply­mouth.

‘It was a paint­ing of Smeaton’s Tower from Ply­mouth Hoe, look­ing down on Drake’s is­land,’ he says. ‘It was a great ex­pe­ri­ence to be on the pro­gramme and hope­fully it will be good ex­po­sure for me.’

One of Steven Rigby's paint­ings of Venice

Many of Steven Rigby’s paint­ings start as sketches on bet­ting slips

Artist Steven Rigby

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