Northern Life talks to Yorkshire artist Danny Abrahams
by Northern Life
Nostalgia and Naivety – from a trowel to a paintbrush
Danny Abrahams is a self taught landscape artist from Wibsey, Bradford. He first picked up a paint brush at 32 years old and now his paintings are selling at £900 a pop. He takes inspiration from the world around him and that world happens to be the beautiful Yorkshire landscape. It’s been a whirlwind for Danny who just thought he’d ‘have a go’ at painting and realised he had an undiscovered talent brewing within him for thirty two years.
“The truth about me with my painting is I’ve only painted for about two or three years. I never picked up a paint brush or anything until I was like 32. My girlfriend bought me some paints. I’ve worked on building sites all my life, I never painted at school, I’ve never done owt but I thought I’d have a go at painting and straight away, my first painting was really good. Everyone said ‘You haven’t done that’ and it went from there and I’m making a living from it. I managed to pack in my job and everything! I’m a published artist so it’s exciting times for me now.”
His style of painting evokes feelings of nostalgia and naivety, especially with his selection of paintings of the Boy with the Kite.
“I think it’s got a naivety to it and a childhood quality. It’s Fine Art but it’s a naive way of painting, with Lowry style men which appeals to people. It’s an appealing style, it’s not too realistic. I could
paint more realistic but people don’t want that.”
“I get people sending me pictures of my paintings hanging on their wall. The paintings are selling for up to £900. A couple of people I know have five or six of my paintings. It’s very surreal because it’s all new to me. When I first sold a painting I couldn’t believe that someone was going to have one of my paintings on their wall.”
It was from his builder connections that Danny got into the art world. Ryan Larvin, who he used to work with on the building sites, had previously quit his job to become an artist and helped Danny get his paintings into art galleries.
During Danny’s teen years he discovered a love for music, becoming an accomplished musician, writing songs and playing guitar for the rock band ‘The Hoover Dams’. He found moderate success with the band, gigging at venues all over the UK, appearing on TV and doing live performances on the radio.
“Being in a band isn’t that good to tell you the truth. You get in it when you’re young and you just end up lugging all your gear round and no one appreciating you. We were on Channel 4 with Harvey Goldsmith. We won ‘Get Your Act Together’. We won a van and £3,000 worth of equipment, we never heard from him again.
On reaching his thirties, Danny found that his love for art was starting to take over. Danny is a true Yorkshireman and so he is incredibly influenced by the local beauty of the northern landscape.
He has a love for the surrounding environment, finding beauty in everyday images. The sky is a powerful subject in Danny’s work. He says it never ceases to amaze him, the overall beauty, emptiness, rawness and power of an everyday natural wonder that most of us take for granted.
“It just works. The little lad flying a kite against the sky works because I’m good at painting skies and I needed to pick something that meant something to people. When they’re looking into my sky
they see this little lad flying a kite and it means something to them.”
Danny prefers working with oil on board. It allows his natural ability to shine, to capture the many ‘moods’ of the landscape and the magical ‘skyscapes’ that have become Danny’s focal point. As he sits down in front of a bare canvas, he lets his natural ability and creative mind take over, using vibrant colours to create “amazing and magical” landscapes.