Artist Unveils First Painting For Two Years At Museum – Somerset Guardian

A celebrated artist from Midsomer Norton has unveiled his latest painting at Bath’s Holburne Museum.

David Fisher, who won the 2008 Holburne Portrait Prize with his picture of Philip Ledbury, was given the chance to paint a notable local figure as part of the museum’s Local Heroes exhibition which celebrates the wealth of talent in the South West.

Mr Fisher, who selected actress Stephanie Cole as his subject, and Bath artist Sally Muir, who chose to paint Bill Bailey, will see their artwork displayed, along with the other prize commissions since 2002, at the exhibition which runs until Sunday, June 24.

Mr Fisher, who is a member of the Old Bakery Artists, chose to paint Cole backstage at the Bath Theatre Royal because he wanted to capture her as though she were rehearsing a play.

The 66-year-old, who has fought his way back to health after being diagnosed with cancer two years ago, said: “I wanted to paint a woman because no one has so in the competition so far.

“I came up with a list of about 13 names and so did the museum and Stephanie Cole was on the top of both our lists.

“I met with her to find out what makes her tick and straight away I could tell she lives and breathes theatre.

“She is a very busy woman and was in Cornwall working on Doc Martin at the time but we met in the Theatre Royal where I did preliminary drawings and took pictures.”

Mr Fisher has been a successful freelance artist and designer for almost 40 years. After completing four years at the West of England College of Art in 1970 he started his business working from home.

During the next two decades he picked up a lengthy list of national and international customers including a commission from Trusthouse Forte, resulting in some of his most well seen pieces of art – his creation of 14 murals, all more than 60 feet long, for Welcome Break motorway service stations across the UK.

After 30 years working in the corporate field Mr Fisher now paints subjects of his own choice and commissions. In 2003 his painting Friend or Foe was a finalist from among 10,000 entries in the Daily Mail’s Not the Turner Prize competition.

He has also won the award for the most popular picture in show eight times at the Bath and West art show.

The painting of Cole is the first painting Mr Fisher has completed in two years.

He added: “I didn’t paint for two years while I was fighting cancer but now I am painting with a vengeance.

“I see life through different eyes now. At the time it was life threatening but thanks to the NHS I am much better.”

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