Burnley painter’s ‘Bank of Dave’ portrait

Burnley artist, David Priestley, with the portrait of David Fishwick that will be exhibited.
Burnley artist, David Priestley, with the portrait of David Fishwick that will be exhibited.

A self-taught Burnley painter is “banking on Dave” to help launch his new art career.

David Priestley (47) who only picked up an oil paintbrush five years ago, has created a stunning portrait of TV star David Fishwick.

Now the father-of-two is set to feature the work of the “Bank of Dave” creator in his first ever exhibition which also includes paintings of late comic Spike Milligan, chatshow legend Michael Parkinson and even the Queen.

David, of Burnley Wood, explained: “I said to David Fishwick ‘can I paint your portrait’ and he said ‘no problem’. He sent me a photo from the ‘Bank of Dave’ and I painted his portrait from it. I am going to feature it in my first exhibition.”

Former Edge End High School pupil David took up the oil and canvas to help during his recovery from severe epilepsy attacks which have left him unable to work.

He said: “I have always been drawing and painting since I was a kid - mainly just cartoons and things like that. But when my daughter was born in 1999 I just stopped.

“But in 2008 I was watching a programme called ‘The Joy of Painting’ and gave it a go.

“I have never painted with oils or attempted portraits before. I started off with landscapes and gradually developed it. Then someone said I should do it for a living.”

But it was not until he started encountering problems with the Department for Work and Pensions that David decided to turn his hobby into a new career.

He said: “I’m fed up with having my benefits taken off me and appealing to get them back, going through a medical and going through the whole process again.

“I am sick of the discrimination of it.

“The only thing I can do is paint portraits. After years of discrimination by the Department for Work and Pensions I decided to make it into something.”

Now he has been painting stunning portraits of friends and family, pets and even popular Burnley landscapes which he is set to show off in his exhibition later this month.

The former Black Sabbath tribute band member said: “My friends are quite shocked I am doing this. It is the last thing they would expect me to be doing.

His Pendle Portraits Exhibition will be held between August 17th to 27th at 71 Curzon Street. A draw is being carried out to win a personal portrait painted by David.