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Article & Photography by Matt Bigwood

This months fabulous cover picture, Banjo and Pepsi, Holywell Scampers, was painted by Wotton-under-Edge artist, Barry Walding.

“I worked at Rolls Royce for 20 years where I was trained as a draughtsman and technical illustrator and then I became a graphic designer. For the past 43 years I have been self-employed as a professional artist, painting for exhibitions and commissions,” explained Barry.

In his youth Barry was inspired by a painting by artist David Shepherd, entitled March Sunlight.

“I was with my cousin in Boots the Chemist and I just stopped dead. I couldn’t take my eyes off it, it was brilliant. From that moment on I said to my cousin, ‘one day I’m going to paint like that man.”

Barry eventually met David Shepherd in 1977 and three years later left his job at Rolls Royce and took up painting as a full-time occupation: “I’ve been doing it ever since and have taken part in exhibitions throughout the country at places like the Yorkshire Railway Museum and the Mall Galleries in London, and had three successful exhibitions at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge.”

Barrys work has also been on show at Nature in Art, near Gloucester, as artist in residence on five occasions. He has produced paintings of everything from portraits in the style of the Pre-Raphaelites through to animals and transport. Some of his paintings have been used to raise money for charities such as the RAF Benevolent Fund and Battle of Britain Historical Society.

“Ive completed hundreds of commissions over the years and Im a keen conservationist with a love of the British Countryside and its wildlife which has featured prominently in my work.

“I enjoy painting anything and everything. A lot of artists like to specialise in things like locomotives or aeroplanes or portraiture, and theres nothing wrong with that, but I enjoy the variety,” he said.