Nigel Artingstall - The Bolton man who has painted for The Queen
- Credit: Pics; John Cocks
A painting by an artist from Bolton will be given as a gift to The Queen.
The art owned by the Royal family is among the most important collections in the world. It features work by many of the greats including Hans Holbein, George Stubbs and Leonardo Da Vinci. Later this year Nigel Artingstall's name will be added to that list.
The 56-year-old from Bolton was commissioned to paint this Scottish scene which will be given to The Queen as a gift from the American embassy.
'I couldn't believe it at first,' Nigel said. 'I had a phone call out of the blue saying a client was interested in commissioning a painting with a view to offering it as a gift to The Queen.
'I normally sell my work through a couple of galleries - Lakes Art in Grasmere and Baron Fine Art in Chester - and I know a couple of footballers have bought my paintings, but this was something else.'
Nigel was a given a brief stipulating the size of the painting and that it should be a Scottish scene. He had previously worked from photographs taken by Darwen-based Cal Cottrell ( who shot this month's cover image) and knew he had some shots of pine martens.
Nigel specialises in animals - he has recently completed a painting of an osprey catching a fish and his next project will be a painting of grebes, both from photographs by Cal. Most of his works are considerably smaller than his Royal commission which is an eye-catching 22x30 inches. 'That did make it a bit more difficult, but I do prefer larger pictures, they have more of an impact,' he said.
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'I knew what I had to do but knowing who was going to be ending up with it made me make sure everything was absolutely spot on. Because of that I spent a lot longer on this painting than I intended to, but it was worth it, I think. I'm happy with the result and I hope the eventual recipient will be as well.'
The painting was created in the studio Nigel built in his garden. 'It's quite large with lots of light and it overlooks woodland so I just have to look up and I might see roe deer or foxes.'
Working from the photograph, Nigel will work forwards from the background. 'I sketch in birds and then mask them off and airbrush the background before I paint in the foreground,' he said. 'I find that working like that gives a greater contrast and an almost 3D quality.'
Nigel was approached by Dr Edward Bowes Lyon, a former fine art underwriter for Lloyds of London who has developed a reputation for sourcing artworks for a network of high net worth clients around the world.
'Merchant princes and nobility are among my clients,' he said. 'I have sourced artwork for clients around the globe and I have several people currently undertaking work, both in this country and abroad for clients in the UK.'
Once the painting leaves Nigel's studio, Nantwich-born Dr Bowes Lyon will arrange for it to be mounted and framed before it is delivered to his client to present to The Queen.
And Dr Bowes Lyon added: 'Nigel was recommended to me about five years ago and I saw an exhibition of his and knew when this commission was discussed that he would be able to provide the right piece of artwork. I believe it would sit very well at Balmoral
'Nigel's work is unsurpassed by anything in British wildlife artistry and hopefully this commission will give him a significant boost, because I don't believe that enough people know of him and his work.'