“It’s always sunny in Blackburn”, says Paint The Town winner Steve Crowther

Steve said he been painting seriously for four years and two days – spurred on by a heart attack.

Former engineer Steve, from Clayton-le-Moors, said: “Art was a hobby then four years ago I had a heart attack. Almost overnight all the work I had went because I did a lot of driving – but I wanted to turn a negative into a positive. So, for the last four years I have been making a go of my art.

“It was a life changing event, but I wanted to make the best of it. After my heart attack painting was a way of relaxing. I needed to do something to stop myself worrying over if it would happen again.”

Steve’s entry in this year’s one-day art competition, run by The Bureau Centre for the Arts and supported by Blackburn BID, captures the stunning buildings in Sudell Cross.

He said: “I look for the beauty in the mundane. I like to paint things that people don’t always see. It’s always sunny in my head, so therefore it’s always sunny in Blackburn.

“I wanted a view that wasn’t based around the precinct in the middle of Blackburn, so I chose Sudell Cross. I like the fact that it’s quite challenging in terms of perspective. It must be the engineer in me that wants to improve all the time.”

This year Steve, who won last year’s digital entry in the event, showcased a new technique he has been working on for a while, blending two colours using watercolours.

Earlier this year the former technology teacher who has his own studio at the Haworth Art Gallery held an online workshop for budding artists to learn more about urban sketching. And during lockdown Steve created 150 sketches in 100 days and even published a book documenting the pandemic in pictures.

He added: “I’d encourage everyone to have a go and enter next year’s Paint The Town. You might just surprise yourself.”

©2022 Blackburn BID

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