St Annes artist Leo in frame for debut art show

A St Annes man is staging a first exhibition of his works after taking up art as a hobby 10 years ago.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 3:45 pm

Retired civil servant Leo Appleton, 63, is putting around 90 examples of his paintings, sculptures and writings on show at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish Centre later this month and proceeds from entry fees will all go to the upkeep of the venue in St Albans Road, St Annes.

Along with the works by Leo himself, the exhibition, entitled The Art of the Appletons, will also include some pieces of art from his grandchildren, his daughter Sarah and wife, Jeanette.

Leo is already renowned at the Centre as co-writer and director of, and performer in, the Our Lady annual pantomimes and he was first inspired to pick up a brush by professional artist, READ MORE: https://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/whats-on/arts-and-entertainment/enchanting-fairytale-rumplestiltskin-brought-life-st-annes-am-dram-groups-christmas-panto-1309378Emilo Hatjoulis when they started painting scenery together for one of those productions.

Leo Appleton with one of his artworks

“I owe a lot to Emilo, a very kind, patient and talented man,” said Leo. “He’s a cartoonist and graphic designer who during the 1960s worked as a designer with Blackpool Pleasure Beach and at Blackpool Illuminations and he still loves to paint and draw in his own inimitable style. ”

Leo, who works primarily in acrylics and watercolour, says he loves to paint people in groups and crowds but is also fascinated by light in pictures and likes to introduce that element into his paintings and drawings wherever he can.

Subject matter of his work is wide ranging and has included local landmarks such as Lytham Windmill as well as favourite holiday destinations abroad.

“I don’t have any dedicated space at home so the majority of my artwork is done at the kitchen table much to Jeanette’s dismay, although she does enjoy the end product,” he added.

“The exhibition idea initially came from a wish I had to raise funds for the Parish Centre, where I spend a considerable amount of time painting scenery for and appearing in our pantomimes. I hope people enjoy it.”

There are a limited number of tickets available for a gala opening of the exhibition on Friday, October 29, priced £5 each and details are available from Leo on 07713 238597. The exhibition will then be open to the public on Saturday, October 30, 10.30am to 3.30pm, and Sunday, October 31 10.30am to 1.30pm, with admission £1.

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