About John Stannard Blackpool Artist
I was born in Bramley, Leeds in 1945, but moved to Cleveleys near Blackpool when I was 13 years old. After leaving school, Art and Technical Drawing being my favourite subjects, I spent a short time at Blackpool Art College before leaving to work for a local Signwriter in Fleetwood. Eager to learn, I bought myself a set of signwriting brushes, and by watching my employer, and picking up tips and techniques I spent most of the next twelve months painting signs and displays for Corrigans Fun Fairs.
Eager to move on, I applied for a job as Window Dresser at a new store opening in Blackpool. As the job required a fair amount of Poster and Show-card writing I spent many hours putting together a good portfolio of work using ideas and techniques still fresh in my mind. The hard work eventually paid off when I was offered the job, and spent the next two years dressing ten huge windows, and writing hundreds of varied Show-cards and signs.
It wasn't long before I started picking up private work elsewhere, and decided to leave and work for myself. Working from a shed at the bottom of my parent's garden, I spent the next six years signwriting everything from shops, vans and boats, to painting cartoon characters on kid's bedroom walls. However, during the last two years of that period, I wanted to do something more adventurous, and spent a lot of my time inshore trawling from Fleetwood, and in 1970 joined Blackpool Fire Brigade (later Lancashire County Fire Service) as a full time fireman. Even then my skills didn't go unnoticed, and it wasn't very long before I was doing all their signs, and artwork. Also, over the next sixteen years I did hundreds of cartoon cards for retirements, Promotions and various events including an artistic gift to be presented to the Sheriff of Lancashire. Not to mention competitions for local newspapers, and even cartoons to teach children what to do in case of fire.
In 1986 I was forced to take early retirement through hearing problems, and returned to being a self employed sign-writer.
It was at this stage that amongst other jobs, I acquired work painting various places and scenes visited by a local Coach Firm, and was also recommended by another artist, to illustrate work for another sign firm; work which went all over the country. This greatly increased my enthusiasm, as I had always wanted to try my hand at oil and acrylic painting. My father, Robert Harry Stannard, trained at Leeds College of art. My grandfather, Frederick Walter Stannard, and his great- grandfather were all good artists. My son, Robert, also has a flair for art and had his own one- man exhibition at the age of fourteen.
During the next few years, I painted various pictures and was fortunate enough to sell most of them, but only recently have I decided to paint more and turn them into Limited and Open Edition prints, some of which you can view in my Gallery, which will be updated regularly with new work. At the present time various prints have been sent or taken to sixteen different countries.
I hope you enjoy your visit.
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