CREATING paintings worthy of sale is a daunting prospect for most aspiring artists.
But a Beatles-inspired Flintshire painter is overcoming a greater challenge than most.
Stuart Steen is defying tremors from Parkinson’s disease to follow his passion for creating art – and with ordinary household paint.
The 64-year-old, who happened to be present on the day the Beatles were first formed, now creates works influenced by the experience and others in his life.
He does this despite having suffered with Parkinson’s for about 16 years.
And now the Ewloe-based artist has created 30 paintings, including a portrait of the Beatles, to help raise money for the Mold Community Hospital fund at a special auction later this month.
“I’m not motivated by the money, just by the passion and to help people and charity if I can,” he said.
“There was an auction at a ball recently for the Hospital fund and four of my paintings made £850.”
Despite an early love for art, he did not rediscover his talent until decades later when he was 60 and had been suffering with Parkinson’s for around a decade.
He said his own disability – which includes severe Parkinson’s symptoms – made him passionate about helping others with disabilities.
“I can empathise with them,” he said.
“I’m also working with people with partial blindness, and I often embellish my work for that reason.
“I started using household paints because normal paint was so expensive. I never buy equipment, it’s given to me.”
As well as painting on canvas, he’s decorated his garden shed – changing the design every season.
During the London Olympics, he painted the shed with a themed design, complete with Olympic torch.
He has also started producing abstract pieces.
He said: “I sketched from a very early age. My mother was always sketching and I think I got it from her.
“Since starting again, I’ve been going and painting at schools. Once when I showed the kids my picture, they all started clapping. It reduced me to tears.”
Stuart grew up in Woolton, Liverpool, and was at a garden fete at St Peter’s Church on July 6, 1957 – the day John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met.
He said: “There was always four of five groups playing in the church and we would be playing there at the same time. But none of us realised at the time what they were going to go on and do.
“The Beatles have had a big influence on my artwork, as well as poetry and lyric– writing that I’ve done."
The art auction is part of a League of Friends fashion show at Soughton Hall near Northop on Saturday, October 19. Tickets for the event will cost £25 and are available at Vaughan Davies, Mold.