St Albans man wins Herts landscape painter of the year

'Wooded Area nr. St Albans' by Michael Beddall.

'Wooded Area nr. St Albans' by Michael Beddall. - Credit: Archant

An artist from St Albans has been named the Herts landscape painter of the year.

Michael Beddall’s achievement, beating 100 other entries to the crown, tops off an illustrious 50-year career.

He said: “When I was a child there was not too much talking in our house so that drawing and painting were my main means of communication.

“When I was 14, my father and I built a studio in the back garden which really got my interest going.”

In 1963, Michael, 69, from Cornwall Road, won a national competition on the TV show Tuesday Rendevous.

He gave an exhibition of his work on an episode that featured the Beatles’ first appearance on British TV.

He left school at 14, and began working as an illustrator for several companies, including Motorcycle News, before going to Ruskin School of Fine Art in Oxford.

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Michael said: “I learned a great deal about colour and how to use it at the Ruskin.

“One of the tasks was to paint white bottles against a white background.

“I looked very carefully and eventually I began to see the many variations of white that really existed.”

Michael went on to teach part-time at FE colleges around Hertfordshire.

He took up a full-time post at a school in Hendon in 1984, eventually retiring as Head of Art in 2007.

Speaking about his teaching career, he said: “Teaching kept me on my toes and helped me keep up with current trends.”

But nothing ever got in the way of his art, which has been shown at the Royal Academy, and in his own summer studios.

It was his painting ‘Wooded Area, Nr St Albans’ that gained him this latest accodalde.

Michael said: “It has boosted my ego. I feel very proud.

“I paint different subject matter as well as landscape, but I have underlined its importance in the British tradition of landscapes.”

Michael and his wife Eira plan to toast his success on a holiday to Japan at the end of the month.