'People have been saying I'm the British Van Gogh' - artist unveils painting for musician
PUBLISHED: 19:00 25 October 2017
A Weston man who has been labelled 'the British Van Gogh' says he is 'completely overwhelmed' after unveiling a painting for an American country singer.
James SB Richardson, aged 43, is ‘on the crest of a wave’ after revealing a painting commissioned by country and Western star Anastasia Richardson, which will be the focal point of her new music video which debuts next week.
The singer’s representatives contacted James after seeing some of his work, and asked him to produce a piece for her upcoming single Hearts And Horses.
James, a former Churchill Academy pupil, went back to school to unveil the piece in front of an audience which included North Somerset Council chairman Chris Blades, with Ms Richardson watching from Tulsa via video call.
James said when the painting was revealed it was met by gasps and applause.
He said: “It went very smoothly in front of the audience. I’ve been so humbled by it all. It’s been all over the news in America.
“People in the States have been saying I’m the British Van Gogh. I don’t think I’m that good.”
Until this year, James was a secret artist – with his family and friends unaware of his exceptional creative talent.
For years, he used it as ‘therapy’ to cope with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
James told the Mercury: “I’ve suffered with OCD since I was 12 years old. The only outlet to occupy my mind was art. No-one knew, not even my mother.
“If anyone turned around and said it was terrible, I would have lost the only thing that was personal therapy for me.
“Anastasia took solace in her music, and I sought solace in my artwork.
“This year I decided to take therapy for my OCD which has helped bring my art into the open.
“I entered the Clevedon Art For All competition and I won, so I thought people may like my work.
“I’d like to think I’m a people’s artist. I don’t want to make money, I want to make people happy.”
And James said he was pleased to unveil his latest piece at his former school.
He added: “At previous schools I was bullied, but Churchill was the best one I went to.
“I made my lifetime friends there.”