PHIL TUFNELL Solo Exhibition chance to meet the man himself
The cat that got the seam: former England international cricketer and One Show art critic Phil Tufnell unveils first exhibition of artwork
By David Aspinall
Former England international cricketer and BBC One Show art critic Phil Tufnell has unveiled his first collection of paintings.
The eclectic artwork is strongly based around the Question of Sport regular's alter ego "the cat" and his exploits on and off the cricket pitch.
With names like "Lucky Cat" and "Rain Stops Play", Phil infuses his own brand of pop art with vibrant colours to reflect his cheeky choppy personality.
Phil said: "I wanted to get my personality into my art and with the help of a mentor artist I really think it has worked as I used to be called "the cat" I thought there would be no better subject for me to start with.
"I've always had an artistic side, from when I was a silversmith.
"I used to do some painting while we were on tour and a lot of my influences have come from countries we visited - Australia, India and the West Indies.
"It used to be an escape from the stresses of matches and now I just like to shut myself off in the studio for a few hours to clear my head."
For a household name like Phil, who has played in multiple Ashes series, you wouldn't think nerves would be an issue - you'd be wrong.
The former spin bowler said: "When you stepped out onto the crease, it was just you against the batsman but then you had 10 teammates backing you up.
"The nerves are a bit different with this - it is me on my own with my artwork baring my personality.
"I'm extremely anxious to see what other people think but then at the same time I'm proud of what I've done and don't care what everyone else says."
Despite his nerves, the 48-year-old is just looking forward to unveiling his creations with his first solo exhibition at a secret location in Birmingham on the 2nd of September 2014 and then moving on to his next masterpieces.
Phil said: "For now I just want to see how well these first paintings go down, but I've got lots of other parts of my life as inspiration.
"I could do a series just based on my time in the jungle full of bugs and dirt.
"My ultimate aim now is to get one of drawings up in the Long Room at Lords - that would just be purrfect!"
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