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  • Writer's pictureDan Heley

Behind The Name: Meet Martin Darcy

Updated: Jan 16

"I was drummed out of art college, it was the early 70's and the appeal of rock and roll, carefree living, and girls, was too much of a temptation to ignore. If you were a bit arty and hippyish, then college was the way to go back then, but then I met Michelle"

"She quickly became the love of my life and we both left college to travel around the country, when we couldn't make money from our art we'd turn our hand at whatever was in front of us, apple picking in Kent during the long hot summers was bliss, I had the countryside and I had Michelle, life was happy"

"We left Kent to go to Cornwall where we spent countless hours drawing on the street or beach together, whilst I was there I lived next to Peter Townsend for a while, he was my hero, when I wasn't busy painting, working or with Michelle I sat listening to The Who, admiring the musical talent of my alter ego"

"Michelle and Peter, that was all I needed in life, but life throws curveballs at you sometimes, and after 4 years together Michelle decided she wanted to return to college, she came from a middle class background and her family had expectations. She was the love of my life and us parting destroyed me for many years"

"After we broke up I returned to Weston and worked spraying cars for many years whilst doing art on the side, then about 6 yrs ago a woman saw one of my paintings and asked me to come round and paint her wall, I spent two weeks on the hall stairs and landing, and from that day on I never looked back"

"I like painting anything to do with the countryside, but trees bring me most pleasure, when painting them my mind occasionally drifts back to the long summer days apple picking in Kent, with Michelle, I was bought pleasure then and now I enjoy bringing pleasure to people with my art"

"Before the pandemic I was walking along the High St and saw a shop boarded up with these horrendous black boards, I asked around to see who I needed to say yes for me to paint it, and someone from North Somerset Council sorted it all out. I chose to paint the key workers of the town because I thought they deserved recognition for what they had done, I left the faces blank because I wanted people, especially children, to walk past and see their mum, or their dad, and be proud of the work they are doing"

"I'm often asked what drives me to paint. Aside from finding it relaxing, it also makes me happy, but more importantly it makes other people happy, if they look at my work and it brings a smile to their face then I know I've done a good job. I also enjoy painting what people want but it my own style, but I'm not shy of saying its not just about the art, or pleasing people, it also pays the bills"

"I'm 65 now, I reckon i've another 20 yrs of painting if I'm lucky, I can't see myself leaving Weston, this is home, and home is where the heart is"


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