Local Artist Drawing On His Talents


This month we bring you a look at local up and coming artist Graham Comstive. Graham has a passion for painting animals, in particular wildlife but has also created some fantastic paintings of pets and landscapes for happy clients.  We asked him to tell us about his creative journey – how he started out to where he is now.

Graham Comstive is a self- taught artist born and brought up in Leeds. He always had an interest in drawing from an early age but never really learnt much more than the basics in art at school, nor did he feel he had any particular encouragement. There was never any mention of him going to Art College, or finding an art related job, so when he left school, his first job was at Farnell Electronic Components (now called Premier Farnell)

However, Graham continued to draw on evenings and in his spare time, and eventually took to watercolour painting, teaching himself from a collection of art books. After leaving Farnells, he began a 23yr career in the building trade, which led to a meeting with renowned marine artist Jack Rigg. He took interest in Graham’s early work and was a source of encouragement.

Over the years Graham has done many drawings and paintings for family and friends, and even managed to sell one or two. He was regularly being told “you should be doing this for a living” or being asked “why are you a builder when you can draw like this?” but he never thought he actually could make a living from his art.

Four years ago he left the building trade and moved to Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire. This is where he began painting with acrylics, which is now his favourite medium. Graham says “I still draw with pencils, pens and still use watercolour, but my main medium is acrylics. I paint almost any subject too, but with my great love of animals and nature, my preferred subjects are Wildlife, Pets and Landscapes (in that order)”

A more recent move to Doncaster has helped him progress, with support coming from his partner Pat (Patricia Glover), her brother who is well known artist Neil McBride, his parents and sister Linda who along with her hubby Brian, run The Wheel Specialist in Garforth.

Through joining ‘The New Fringe’ in the city, Graham has had the opportunity to hold his first exhibition. That was at Yorkshire Waterways Museum, Goole, and ran through out August this year. He also showed work at the recent St. Gemma’s annual art exhibition which was held at Leeds Grammar School last month. Some of Graham’s works are currently on display and for sale, at Artworld 2 Gallery, at the Ridings Centre, Wakefield.

He has also been invited by David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, to enter the Wildlife Artist of the Year competition which they run each year. It is a busy time for him at the moment with lots to look forward to.

Graham says “I don’t have aspirations to be a millionaire, or expect to ever reach the ranks of elite artists such as David Shepherd, but it would be nice if I could earn a living from my artwork, and hopefully become recognised in the field of wildlife art. Realistic dreams or not? Only time will tell.”

Graham can be contacted via his website grahamcomstiveart.weebly.com for originals, prints, commissions etc.

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