Move over Grayson Perry – former classmate from Portsmouth to exhibit his paintings in London
A retired art teacher is to have his work appear in a major London exhibition - more than 40 years after studying alongside Grayson Perry.
Steve Dodd, who retired as an art teacher at Havant College in 2017, will have his painting of Broad Street exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition.
The painting is the view from Studio One at the Hotwalls Arts Studios complex in Old Portsmouth, where Steve and a collective of eight other artists work.
Steve, who lives in Station Road, Drayton, said: 'I studied fine art at Portsmouth Polytechnic, and I was there the same year as Grayson Perry.
'Obviously we went down very different paths.
'I had left painting for such a long time, I thought my time was gone.'
Steve and artist Grayson Perry studied together from 1978 to 1981, with the Polytechnic becoming the University of Portsmouth in 1992.
Steve was inspired to pick up a paint brush again a year ago - after a chance clear-out of a Scout's hut.
He said: 'Some neighbours came around with a bag of art supplies they had found whilst clearing out a local Scout hut.
'At the bottom of the bag was some oil paints.
'And I thought "go on Steve, have a go."'
The artist entered two oil paintings to the annual competition, after being encouraged by his wife.
He said: 'My wife said 'you should enter those.'
'So my artistic advice is - always listen to your wife.
After making it through the first round of online applications, the two pieces were brought before an expert panel at The Mall Galleries to be judged anonymously.
Steve said: 'Your work is given a number and you check online to see if your number has been selected.
‘I was in London when I checked online, and I had left the note with my numbers at home, so I had to call to check.
‘I could not believe it - it was just wonderful.’
His painting was selected from a record number of over 1,800 entries to the annual exhibition, with just 163 works being exhibited.
The Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition will be on display at Mall Galleries from Thursday July 4 to Sunday July 14.