“I have been a full-time professional artist for over 50 years. I know … I am amazed as well. But it is true. I left my last proper job teaching art in a secondary school way back in 1965.

This is how it happened. I couldn’t live on the teacher’s salary. Fran, my wife, and I had two small children and a rented council house. So I used to get out at weekends and knock on people’s doors to try and sell the paintings that I had made during weekday evenings. The teaching salary was so poor that I made more on some Sundays than a week in school. So when the headmaster invited me to apply for a job in the new school that would replace the current one, I didn’t apply.

Consequently I lost the tied tenancy to the council house. But luckily, for a very small deposit we got our first foot onto the property ladder and all was well.

I painted using a palette knife onto hardboard panels, and sold them for a few pounds each. A year later the story was picked up by the Daily Mail, Here is the photo and article.