Carrot gold: Maverick painter swaps screwdriver for vegetable
- Credit: DENISE BRADLEY
Carrots are not only good for eyesight but also for creativity, one inspirational Norfolk artist has discovered.
Painter Johno Cornish, who is known for using a screwdriver instead of a brush, has just produced a stunning artwork with the vegetable.
Mr Cornish, from Attleborough, came up with the idea when he started working as a delivery driver for Norfolk Veg Box just three weeks ago.
From trees to hares, the daily drives around the county’s country lanes inspired the subject matter of his paintings. But it wasn’t long before the produce in the veg boxes also sparked his creativity.
Mr Cornish, 57, said: “I started the deliveries and one day I just thought I am going to try painting with a carrot. So I trimmed one down a bit and I was amazed how the picture turned out.
“A screwdriver is quite rigid to paint with but the end of the carrot has some movement.” He added: “I might try a parsnip next.”
Richard Ewin, owner of Attleborough-based Norfolk Veg Box, which has seen huge increase in demand since the pandemic, said Mr Cornish’s engaging personality had already proved popular with customers.
But he admits he thought he was joking at first when he suggested painting with a vegetable.
Mr Ewin said: “Johno came to me and said he had an idea of doing a painting with a carrot. He was in work that day until 1pm and by 6.30pm he texted over the pictures of what he’d painted. I was amazed - he is very talented.”
Mr Cornish works from a studio in his garden, and credits his partner ‘Spider’ and her daughter ‘Chimp’ for keeping him on the straight and narrow. Originally from Catfield near Potter Heigham, Mr Cornish has suffered from depression and in 2005 attempted to take his own life. He said creating art is an emotional outlet which boosts his mental health.
“It comes from the soul,” he said. “Every painting tells a story and there’s part of me in every single one. I also hope my artwork inspires other people and proves there is hope that things can get better.”
Mr Cornish has staged exhibitions and sold paintings to raise funds for mental health and cancer charities. Most recently he produced a painting to boost the NHS, which will be auctioned.
To see the carrot painting, and other works by artist, visit the new Harrods of Hingham gallery, which opens this Saturday, December 3, or contact the gallery for a private viewing. For more details visit sites.google.com/view/harrods-of-hingham or see Johno Cornish’s Facebook page. For vegetable delivery details, visit norfolkvegbox.com