Through times of trouble, uncertainty and change in life, I have often found peace, solace and prayer through the brush and pen. From the earliest age I have found joy in sketching and painting and I am blessed to have professional artists in my family heritage. My great grandfather, Arthur Mansbridge was a prolific illustrator and his son Norman was also an illustrator and drew for national newspapers, children’s comics and the much loved satirical ‘Punch’ magazine.
I have many happy memories of spending time as a boy with Uncle Norman and Auntie Edna in their wonderfully idyllic rural home, nestled in the Essex countryside. Particularly having the privilege to explore Norman’s studio. It was a revelation to me that somebody was able to dedicate their whole working life to a creative pursuit that gave them and others such joy. I still treasure the letters from Norman and the Christmas cards he created each year for the family with the characteristic sketch of himself resplendent with pipe. I cheekily pointed out that one of his comic cartoon characters had an uncanny resemblance to his headscarved wife and there was a definite glint in his eye when questioned…....
‘this proudly sits on the wall in my snug to be enjoyed every day’
I hope that he would be pleased that his ever inquisitive great nephew is now pursuing what he encouraged all those years ago in his rural studio.
I was fortunate that both Norman and my grandmother encouraged and nurtured my interest in art and sketching and helped me to develop a critical eye.