WHAT started as a device for escapism and an outlet for creative passion, turned into a lot more for amateur artist John Roberts when three cricket greats were bowled over by his pastel works.
The Swan View resident and retiree recently had the pleasure of gifting three still life paintings to Western Australian cricketers Cameron Bancroft and brothers Mitchell and Shaun Marsh.
Shaun’s father Geoff Marsh accepted the painting on behalf of Shaun who was unable to be there.
“Their jaws dropped to the floor when I presented them,” Mr Roberts said.
“I felt so grateful that they liked it so much.
“You feel as though you’ve achieved something when that happens.”
The paintings were intended as a celebration and life-long reminder of their 2017-18 Ashes campaign.
The self-confessed cricket fanatic, who briefly dabbled with painting in childhood, amazingly only picked up a paint brush again in the past three years since his retirement.
“I used to do landscapes and animals and that sort of thing,” he said.
“I used pictures as my inspiration from advertisements to books, I love to recreate things.”
During a difficult 12 months Mr Roberts said he could not get his mind in the right place to continue drawing and painting animals and instead turned to still life earlier this year.
Mitchell Marsh expressed his appreciation for the work.
“I love the picture,” he said.
“It’s hanging in my lounge room right now.
“It was such a great surprise to get such a quality and personalised piece of memorabilia from an Ashes series that meant so much to me.”
By Claire Ottaviano