I left school in 1968 with no qualifications and almost no training in art. I was interested in the art I saw in comics, album covers, posters, and church windows.
And occasionally I would watch a documentary on telly.
During a period of ill health in my early twenties, I received useful guidance and encouragement that led me on to an adult education art course for two years. My passion for art was born, and I found a new goal in life. My commitment to my development as an artist quickly established, and it has been a fundamental part of my life ever since.
I went on to do a fine art degree at the Byam Shaw School of Art, where I was a student for five years . I won the Byam Shaw Painting Prize while I was there.
My influences and inspiration range from Rembrandt, Velasquez to Kossoff and Auerbach. For me it is crucial to keep learning from the 'old masters', and I have often worked from paintings such as Ruben's 'Descent from the Cross'.
As well as the subjects the classical tradition of western paintings my work also focuses on the on the urban of the north london environment where I grew up and continue to live and on portraits. I have exhibited my work many times in galleries and public galleries and have work in collections including Homerton Hospital and The National Trust.
"Dear stephen mccann l usually open book parcels sent to me with slight apprehension but l am very impressed by the quality by the authenticity and character of your work which seems to remarkably good thank you for sending the book i will show it to one or two people although i don't suppose anything will come of that with very good wishes frank"
This is a letter I received from Frank Auerbach