Inspired artist sells painting

JPCT 26-04-12  Southwater. Les White, artist auctioning painting for charity S12180064a - photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 26-04-12 Southwater. Les White, artist auctioning painting for charity S12180064a - photo by Steve Cobb
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THE PRESIDENT of Southwater art club is auctioning a painting which took him more than five years to complete after being inspired by a children’s hospice.

Les White, 64, who is one of the founders of Southwater Art Club, was so moved when he heard about Chestnut Tree House, near Arundel, that he has decided to auction a painting which took him approximately 150 hours to complete.

The 43” by 34” canvass oil painting entitled ‘Rudd’ (see below) is currently on display at Les’ local pub, the Hen and Chicken, on Worthing Road, Southwater.

Les finished the painting this February after having to take many breaks from his art due to health issues.

The time put into the painting is priceless and Les has no interest in selling it unless it’s for a good cause.

“A neighbour told me I ought to sell it but I said, ‘how much would you sell 150 hours worth of work for?’”

“I’m not in it to sell pictures and I never do commissions. All I want to do for Chestnut Tree House is get as much money as possible.”

Chestnut Tree House, near Arundel, is the only children’s hospice in Sussex and provides specialist palliative care to children and young adults.

Les heard about the ‘marvellous’ work done at Chestnut Tree House after receiving a pamphlet on the charity and then speaking to a lady who works there.

Les said: “They can’t cure the kids but all they can do with the short time they spend with us is make them as happy as they possibly can.

“It costs £2 million a year to run it and they get virtually no government support so it’s all off donations.”

Les was made president of the art club after he became ill a few years ago and told his fellow members he was going to have to leave.

“When I became ill they made me president so I don’t drop out,” he said.

“When I returned to the art club after being away for a while I got more cuddles when I went back than my mother gave me all my life.”

So far Les has been left feeling slightly disheartened to hear that the painting, which has been on view in the Hen and Chicken pub in order to gain interest, has only prompted a bid of £150 so far. The frame costs £50 alone.

The final auction for the painting will be held on Saturday May 19 and Sunday 20 at the Southwater art club exhibition weekend in Beeson House, Lintot Square, Southwater.

For further information contact Les on 01403 730401 or visit www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/