AN artist painted the village red when a special guest opened his new gallery and studio.
Graham Borthwick has opened Brush Strokes in East Street, Whitburn, as a place to display his work.
To celebrate, MP David Miliband was on hand to officially open the studio, joined by other local business owners and family and friends.
Mr Borthwick, who has been painting since he was a youngster, was delighted that the Labour politician dropped in.
He said: “It was brilliant to that Mr Miliband came along, a real privilege.
“He’s into art himself and spent a lot of time here and took a real interest in my work and my background.”
The 52-year-old, who lives in Whitburn, presented the South Shields MP and former foreign secretary with a print of his painting of Souter Lighthouse.
Mr Borthwick’s father Kenneth was a lecturer in foreign art at Sunderland Polytechnic and he thinks his influence brushed off on him.
He said: “Art has always been in my blood and I’ve enjoyed it since I was young, but when I took early retirement a few years ago I really got back into it.
“I’m really pleased with Brush Strokes. There’s a studio out the back where I can work and run classes and a gallery to display my art.
He added: “So far I’ve had great feedback from people and have been commissioned by people to do paintings of their favourite landmarks in the borough.”
For more information on the classes, or to discuss commissioning a painting, call 529 2780.