After creating my first lockdown project it did not occur to me that there would be another lockdown, after all, the country was sort of getting back to normal or at least the new normal. We were allowed back in pubs but only in  bubbles of 2 and it was  mandatory to have a substantial meal (Scotch egg and a bag of crisp would do the trick)   Shops had stopped their 2 meter distance rule and one way systems.  You could even treat yourself to a much needed  haircut...   But then it was announced  by Boris that a further lockdown was imminent, Lockdown 2 was coming, it would mean an end to Christmas 2020

I had no idea what my Lockdown 2 project would be but knew I needed to create something special to top the first one. I would be thinking about this for days on end, then from out of nowhere it dawned on me that I should do something christmas related and not only that  Captain Tom should be the main feature and so I came up with 'Secret Santa'...

Captain Tom NHS Fundraising Hero 2020


My intention was to draw a caricature of captain  Tom and send it to him for his 100th birthday but this was easier said than done. Everytime I turned the TV on I would learn something new about this great war hero. Each day I would add to the drawing this meant missing his birthday deadline so i decided to send it to him once complete. He was now more than a war hero he had now become our NHS Fundraising Hero. I was destined to create something for Captain Tom after learning we were both born in the West riding of Yorkshire, both joined the Royal Armoured Corps and were both stationed at Bovington camp but that is where the similarity ends because Captain Tom bravely served in WW2 and I had served during peacetime.


Last year was a year I will never forget it was 2020 and only 3 months into the new year.The COVID-19 pandemic was sweeping through mainland Britain putting a heavy burdon on the NHS. The prime minister had put the country into Lockdown. It was whilst watching the BBC news I was filled with emotion.  I was captivated by one awesome individual an elderly man 99 years of age  was walking laps of his garden with a target of 100 laps by his 100th birthday  hoping to raise £1,000 for the NHS.  Day by day he was becoming famous his  name was being mentioned around the world. He had become fondly known as 'Captain Tom' It seemed over night he had become our NHS fundraising Hero. The £1,000 target had been surpassed reaching just short of £33 million

Having missed Captain Tom's birthday deadline I was determined not to miss the Christmas deadline but just like with the first project  I was adding to secret santa as and when I learned something new. It seemed on a daily basis something would be named after Captain Tom like the new inter city express train  for the Great Western Railway.  I enjoyed drawing the train I even bought  the limited edition version which came in handy as a prop.

The other favourite of mine was the Beano comic I just at to buy one for my new Captain Tom collection, I would also use it as a prop. My new hobby of collecting Captain Tom bits and pieces was building up nicely.


Did you know captain Tom had a gin named after him? Well what a great addition to my collection. I managed to order early and was able to purchase a bottle from the first ever batch and yes you guessed right I used it as a prop. It now sits proudly in my cabinet... unopened...for now!

After spending time in India during the war Captain Tom spent time in Dorset at the Royal Armoured Corps Bovington with the Armoured Fighting Vehicle  (AFV) School as an instructor on the Churchill tank. His regiment serving in India were equipped with the American tank M3 Lee as seen here. Captain Tom was also an avid motorcycle racer

Captain Tom met The Otterbeck Distillery co-owner Dougie Lampkin whilst filming a TV show about his life. They both shared an interest in the Yorkshire Dales and vintage motorbikes. It was whilst captain Tom was visiting the Distillery that he joked about having his own gin one day and so it was to be. Donations from sales will go to charities set up by the Captain Tom Foundation.

obyart

Welcome to

I have Robert Lenkiewicz to thank for my love of drawing. I remember standing in his studio doorway watching him draw pencil portraits for those lucky enough to afford the £1 charge. I remember being eager to get back to the childrens home and get my pencils out and try to emulate the deft pencil strokes I had seen Robert do

I would make many more visits to the studio over the years and become a big fan of his work. Robert always welcomed me to look round the studio on Barbican. I can still smell the painted canvases and all the tubes of paints along with many homemade palettes. It was fascinating to see several palettes on the go for different canvases. Amongst all the brushes pots and props I was intrigued by the vintage mirror with handle just like the one my mum had on her dresser, I later learned that Robert used this as a tool, apparantly this allows artists  to see the image reversed, which makes any distortions or imbalances more obvious, it also allows you to see a fresh view at the subject.  Robert was a prolific painter I was always treated to something new on each visit.

I eventually left Plymouth to join the army in 1979 My visits still continued when I had leave, it was a delight to see Roberts latest project.

When I left the army I ended up living in Dorset. It was whilst I was working at the library I was offered accommodation with a  Dorchester family I was living in the granny annex and I loved my time there I became part of the family. The family got to know all about my love for drawing and it wasn't long before i converted them to being Lenkiewicz fans.

My Landlady was Norwegian and her family would come over to England on holiday,  it was during one of their stays that their cousin Daniella also became a Lenkiewicz fan,  she loved my Lenkiewicz silkscreens that I had on the walls througout the house. I asked Daniella wether she would like to be a muse for Robert, she was gobsmacked that I actually knew Robert lenkiewicz and that I could arrange this. I wrote to Robert and sent some photos of Daniella. I will always remember the look on Daniella's face giving her the news that Robert had phoned saying he would love to paint her. She was over the moon the day I introduced her to Robert. Her storey would eventually make the Norwegian national papers.

Typical Lenkiewicz £1 portrait from the 1970's

Daniella with doll by Robert Lenkiewicz 1998

It was a great moment for me when Robert asked  if I would like to help out with the 'Dossers'  Anual Christmas Dinner, an event that had been going since the 1970's at the Bretonside bus station Plymouth. Robert laid on a Christmas dinner for those less fortunate and offered out blankets and warm clothing. Christmas carols would be playing in the background. It felt like an old friends reunion. I was so glad that I had the chance to help out on this particular Christmas day as Robert sadly passed away in 2002

Robert was presented with a caricature I had done called 'The Dosser's Anual Christmas Dinner' I have drawn one of the 'Dossers (fondly known as) holding a plate of Christmas dinner with just the wishbone and a single pea left of what was a full Christmas dinner. Robert once mentioned to me he liked my humour in my drawings and that I should do more. He said I was an amusing man... I was happy with that.

Prince William in 2007

Hi and welcome to my website. My name is oby and I love to draw and paint. When I draw I like to focus on caricatures of people and their pets and when I paint I like to work on local landscapes






I have been drawing for over 40 years. my first ever cartoon  I was brave enough to show off was way back in 1978 I was working as a storeman for the Royal Automile Club  Plymouth. it was my first job after leaving school. There was never enough space in the store so I made a point of this by drawing myself trying to get through the door desperately needing to reach the toilet, fortunately for me the office manager saw the funny side, he was happy for it to stay up on the wall in the staff room.

Creating safe and happy art for today and our tomorrow's

Nurse May Parsons seen above holding her Secret Santa artwork was the first person to administer the  Covid-19 vaccine. On the 8th of December 2020 at 06:31 GMT A UK grandmother Margaret keenan became the first person in the world to be given the Pfizer Covid-19 jab this was the start of a mass vaccination programme throughout the UK and the world.

Dosser's Anual Christmas Dinner by Howard M O'Brien 2001

Robert lenkiewicz recieving his caricature Christmas day 2001



(C) Howard M O'Brien

(C) Howard M O'Brien

When I was taking this pic my Jake was patiently waiting to have the ball thrown

Price Harry to my left. This was right at the end of the course it was presented during live firing at Lulworth rages 2006

prince Harry is the one holding the 30 MPH sign. Apparantly he got cought speeding driving through Bovinton

Prince William recieving his group drawing on a wet day Lulworth ranges 2007

This photo almost never happened, we were all waiting for prince William to arrive think he had a lot on his mind at this time

revamp of website currently under way but please do get in touch it would be nice to hear from you

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