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Rob Ford

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Mary Irwin

Rob Ford

Artist Biography

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Rob Ford

When people ask me, “When did you start painting?” or, “What got you interested in art?” I have to reply, that I simply don’t know. It’s something that I have always done and always felt passionate about. When I look back at my childhood, I can remember wanting to stay late at nursery and primary school to finish my painting and if I remember correctly, I took the specialized art of ‘drawing on walls’ to a new level. Nothing was safe, rugs, carpets, loo rolls and much to my parent’s dismay, a fantastic collage of fruit peels on a warm radiator. Despite this my family have always encouraged and supported me, which was possibly the most important factor in me becoming an artist of fine art, prints and posters.

After leaving school I continued to paint and draw and developed an interest in the history of art, prints and posters. This interest led me to apply to my local college to study an art course. Rembrandt, Van-Gogh and Delacroix were particular favorites of mine. Although at college I had the opportunity to spend each day drawing and painting, I found it frustrating and felt pressured into finding the appeal in modern art. Pop art, abstract expressionism and the like were the expected food for thought and words such as ‘Neo-Classicism’ and ‘Pre-Raphaelite’ were as good as banned. This experience is something that I have shared with other artists, and perhaps it is not a bad thing as by refusal, my interest in the history of painting was spurred onwards, and I would now place Mark Rothko and other abstract expressionists high on my list of favorites.

On completion of my college course, I really wanted to find some sort of employment that would make use of my skills. Unfortunately I couldn’t afford to take my education any further, so whilst still drawing and painting at every given opportunity, I had a go at many jobs including removals, parcel delivery, waiting, gardening, office work etc. This went on until one day, while holding some art classes at a local primary school, I came across a small local business who specialized in Theme restaurants. My sights were set and I continually pestered the manager until he gave me the opportunity to design a mural for them. Before long I had secured a job doing what I had always wanted to do, painting. I stayed with the company for the next few years after which I found the confidence to start painting art, prints and posters for private sales. I set up a studio and began working from home, while still producing commercial work, murals and large-scale commissions for many different businesses. I could happily spend every spare minute devoted to my fascination of art. When people ask me if it’s hard to make a living from a hobby, I simply reply, “Painting has never been a hobby, it’s just what I do.”

Rob Ford Art, Prints and Posters Collection