Actor hits the canvas after buying To’s work

SIR Patrick Stewart has long had a formidable reputation for his artistry on stage and screen. Now he has taken up the paintbrush.

His new-found passion is partly inspired by former University of Huddersfield student and southside resident, artist Frank To.

Former HU chancellor Sir Patrick presided over a ceremony in which the artist donated to his former university a dramatic oil painting named Fallen. It is now on permanent display at the university.

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Sir Patrick said: “I’ve lusted after this painting since I first saw it more than 10 years ago, when Frank was a student here. It made a big impact on me.”

Sir Patrick has bought a number of To’s works. The actor revealed how his wife had recently presented him with brushes and paint. To begin with he was scared of them, he admitted, as he had no drawing skills. But one day he attempted to paint a camellia flower and soon he was hooked.

“I am now deeply embedded in painting, never having touched a brush before”, he said.

The artist presented gifts to Sir Patrick, including a pair of silver cufflinks designed and made by the artist’s girlfriend Jillian Noble.