Brushing shoulders with elite company

Artist Michael AshcroftArtist Michael Ashcroft
Artist Michael Ashcroft
Work by Croston-born Michael Ashcroft has been selected from more than 1,300 entries to appear alongside paintings by some of Britain's leading figurative artists

Michael’s artistic talents can be seen at The New English Art Club’s annual open exhibition on display at Mall Galleries in central London between June 16 and 25.

Michael, 47, is a member of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts and exhibits his work in Hale, Poynton, Manchester, Lancashire, and London.

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Last year he exhibited in the Summer Exhibition and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in London.

Born in 1969, he grew up in Croston and from an early age had a keen interest in all things arty.

After leaving school in 1985 with top grades in art he began his career as an engineer, painting and sketching only in his spare time.

In 1998 he had a major operation to remove a brain tumour and decided to paint more seriously.

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He returned to college and completed numerous classes in art including A-level fine art, OCA in portraiture and life drawing classes which he 
continues to do on a weekly basis.

Michael, who now lives in Leyland, close to Worden Park, said he was honoured to be exhibiting his piece of work - Lancashire Blue - at The New English Art Club’s annual open exhibition.

“I think it’s difficult to get in,” he said. “I think there’s a few thousand apply. I’ll be going down for the preview.

“It’s always nice to go down to London, to the previews, exhibitions and a look round the galleries.”

Lancashire Blue is a landscape scene.

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“I paint a lot outside, most are done outside,” said Michael.

It will be his only piece of work on show at the exhibition.

Michael’s work has become highly sought after and he is seen as being a painter using traditional methods

Michael has gained many awards over the years.

His recent ones include being accepted into the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts and gaining entry into the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Royal Society of British Artists and the Howard De Walden Exhibitions in London.

His work can currently be seen on his website www.