Octogenarian north Norfolk artist celebrates six decades of painting with a string of exhibitions

Mundesley artist John Midgley, who is enjoying his most successful year yet at the age of 82. Pictur

Mundesley artist John Midgley, who is enjoying his most successful year yet at the age of 82. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

At the age of 82, Mundesley-based artist John Midgley would be forgiven for putting his feet up and taking life easy.

Sheringham street scene, by Mundesley artist John Midgley. Picture: John Midgley

Sheringham street scene, by Mundesley artist John Midgley. Picture: John Midgley - Credit: John Midgley

But the former London arts advisor has no plans to slow down and, with a string of one-man shows and group exhibitions in the pipeline, says he is enjoying a 'renaissance'.

Yorkshire-born Mr Midgley, who ran a trades union banner painting company from his north Norfolk home before selling the business in order to concentrate on his own work, is currently staging a one-man show at the Theatre Royal, Norwich, as well as featuring in an upcoming mixed show at the Forum by the Norwich 20 Group.

St Ives, Cornwall, by Mundesley artist John Midgley. Picture: John Midgley

St Ives, Cornwall, by Mundesley artist John Midgley. Picture: John Midgley - Credit: John Midgley

Other exhibitions planned this year include a major one-man show at Anteros Arts Foundation in September, with Mr Midgley also exhibiting work as part of the Cromer and Sheringham Arts Festival and with the North Norfolk Organisation of Visual Arts.

'It has been a very prolific time for me and I'm not going to stop – far from it,' he said. 'Getting older, I think it's about managing your time and your energy and I do have to accept that there are times when I have to stop and rest.'

Kings Lynn street scene, by Mundesley artist John Midgley. Picture: John Midgley

Kings Lynn street scene, by Mundesley artist John Midgley. Picture: John Midgley - Credit: John Midgley

After producing a series of 'backroads' landscape paintings, Mr Midgley recently turned to more urban scenes for inspiration.

'I found myself walking in Sheringham and it was just such a complete contrast to the natural landscape,' he explained. 'There were buses, cars and people and it just immediately appealed to me.'

Kings Lynn street scene, by Mundesley artist John Midgley. Picture: John Midgley

Kings Lynn street scene, by Mundesley artist John Midgley. Picture: John Midgley - Credit: John Midgley

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He went on to produce more than a dozen streetscapes depicting everyday life in Cromer, Sheringham, Kings Lynn and St Ives, Cornwall.

Mr Midgley, who is also planning to produce a book featuring 50 line drawings of art exhibition visitors, says that although his recent success has prevented him and his wife Maggie from taking a planned holiday, he has a renewed energy and wants to continue to paint.

Cromer street scene, by Mundesley artist John Midgley. Picture: John Midgley

Cromer street scene, by Mundesley artist John Midgley. Picture: John Midgley - Credit: John Midgley

'I'm going to the gym twice a week which helps my brain work better and I think my work is better as a result,' he said. 'It is important to keep fit as I want to stay alive as long as possible – I've got a lot to do.'

Paintings by John Midgley will be on show at the Theatre Royal, Norwich until July 16, and at the Forum as part of a Norwich 20 Group show from July 17-23.

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