Lockdown restrictions have resulted in creative opportunities for Newcastle-under-Lyme artist, Nick Moore.

Making virtual contact with artists and friends who were also affected by isolation has strengthened his existing friendships and opened up opportunities for the artist to reach out to the people he has been influenced by.

Nick’s portrait of Nello was completed by studying a photograph he took when they had a chance encounter earlier in the year in Newcastle town centre. Nick’s painting was revealed on social media the same day that Nello’s BAFTA award winning biopic“Marvellous” made in 2014 was re-screened in June, 2020.

Nick-Moore
Nick Moore

“The painting of Nello is primarily in recognition of our friendship since initially meeting at Keele University,” says Nick. “I would hope to have captured some of his warmth, positivity and humour in his expression in this portrait. If you look closely you’ll see a smile emerging as that’s what you always notice when chatting with Neil. He’s such a positive person.”

Nick adds: “During lockdown I contacted many creative people who I’ve known over the years and painted their portraits whilst sharing the daily progress for them to comment and advise. The most notable subjects were Keith Brymer-Jones from the Great Pottery Throwdown, Local artist Ian Pearsall, Lead Singer with China Crisis, Gary Daly, Emerging Folk Singer Katherine Priddy and Podcaster and Rapper Scroobius Pip. I’m going to meet up with some of them when I’m able to hand over the original. In some ways that feels like a happy conclusion to a challenging creative period for them and I.”

The painting “Nello, Freeman of Newcastle-under-Lyme” was so well received on Twitter, with 45,000 impressions, that he contacted Amanda Bromley at Barewall Gallery in Burslem and half-sized, limited edition prints and a single full-sized version have been created. The prints have been numbered and signed by both Nick and Nello and both agreed that 25% of the profits would go to Nello’s chosen charity, Keele University Volunteers.

Limited editions of ten framed 30x30cm prints for sale at £135 are available from Barewall Art Gallery, in Burslem. All purchases can be made online from by calling Amanda Bromley on 07932717718  or by emailing shop@barewall.co.uk

Neil “Nello” Baldwin, BEM, is a Freeman of Newcastle-under-Lyme and was awarded an Honorary Degree by Keele University. He is a local celebrity, a registered clown and was Stoke City Football Club mascot. His many acquaintances include the Archbishop of Canterbury, Prince Edward and Gary Lineker. “Marvellous” was published as a book and is soon to be performed after it was adapted as a play at the New Vic Theatre.

Upon seeing the print Neil “Nello” Baldwin said to Nick: “Hey I like that, can I have one.” Nick had a replica canvas made for him to hang on his wall next to his British Empire Medal.

Neil-Nello-Baldwin-with-print-by-Nick-Moore
Neil “Nello” Baldwin with the print.

Nick’s work can be found on Twitter as @StokeNick and on Instagram as @nicholasrmoore https://www.barewall.co.uk/collections/nick-moore

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