A LOCALLY-BORN artist has been left stunned after his artwork showing where he was brought up ended up going worldwide.
Steven Bruce compiled a calendar showing his paintings depicting Ashton as he remembers it.
And not only has it completely sold out but his work will now be on display in Europe, America Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Steven, who now lives in Blackpool, regularly exhibits his work close to his current base and has also won art competitions and been displayed in magazine.
However, the success of his work showing what he knew when he was younger – which was also available at Ashton store Cameraz – has taken him by surprise.
Steven said: “I thought they may struggle to sell all copies but they seem to have flown off the shelf at Cameraz.
“I didn’t realise they had sold copies abroad but it’s a wonderful feeling, especially as I’ve had so much feedback from people who have bought them saying they love them and the paintings bring back lovely memories.
”I’m happy they were so popular.”
A retired postman who went to Parochial junior school and then Ashton Grammar, Steven first took up painting in 1994 when he was a ladies’ hairdresser after then partner Jayne decided he needed a hobby and gave him an art set of oil paints, an easel and a book of teach yourself to paint.
The 65-year-old added: “I was bemused and said, ‘I can’t paint,’ but nevertheless I started to teach myself and here I am.
“It gradually became an obsession and in 1997 I quit as a hairdresser, moved to Blackpool and took a job at Royal Mail which allowed me more time to paint in the afternoons
“After taking medical retirement from Royal Mail in 2013, I have painted full time, although it isn’t career sustaining.
“The calendars are now all sold out. I don’t have hundreds done as I’m just a retired postman who paints and can’t afford huge amounts of them.
“I paint many things that generally mean something to me from both past and present.”
Steven’s success does not mean he will put down his paintbrush any time soon, he will still put his memories and how things currently stand – including Ashton’s market and his former primary school – on canvas.
• If you are interested in Steven’s art, you can visit his website at www.stevenbruceart.co.uk