Sunderland granddad proves a hit with amazing artwork of inspirational Captain Tom Moore

A Sunderland artist has made a spectacular salute to Captain Tom Moore.

Friday, 17th April 2020, 5:19 pm

The former army captain, 99, has marched into the history books, and become a symbol of Britain’s fighting spirit, after raising £18million (and counting) for the NHS by doing 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.

His efforts have touched the hearts of the nation amidst the turmoil of the pandemic, with tens of thousands of pounds being pledged by the hour to his fundraiser.

Inspired by Capt Tom’s achievements, artist Andy Parkin, from Seaburn, has created a striking acrylic artwork of the war hero doing his laps.

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Andy Parkin's artwork alongside a photo of Captain Tom Moore by Joe Giddens / PA wire

The A4 piece will be signed and auctioned off to help raise funds for the NHS and it’s struck a chord with people on social media, racking up more than 40,000 likes on Facebook.

Great granddad Andy, 58, only picked up a paint brush six years ago after being diagnosed with bi-polar disorder.

It became a form of therapy for him, recommended to him by his psychiatrist, and it tapped into a hidden talent that led to him gaining a first in Fine Art from Sunderland University.

Andy, who is now studying for his masters degree, said: “Captain Tom is one of the old school, a real hero. I feel like my dad would have done something like that if he could. What he’s done is amazing and I wanted to do something to honour that.”

Artist Andrew Parkin in his studio in Seaburn

Andy has a friend who lives near Capt Tom in Bedfordshire and he plans to send it to him to see if he can get the war hero to sign it before it’s auctioned off.

Art has turned the former bricklayer’s life around and he’s still been able to paint in lockdown in his studio at home.

“Bi-polar is an awful illness but it’s given me the gift of art,” he said.

The response to his painting has also helped to lift the artist’s spirits after his daughters shared their dad’s efforts on Facebook, leading to an outpouring of appreciation for the piece.

Andy Parkin's painting of Capt Tom Moore will be auctioned for the NHS

Andy, who lives with wife June, said: “I couldn’t sleep last night after seeing the response. Feel good things like this are so important right now.”

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Andy is a former boxer and he's also created work depicting Olympic boxing medallist Tony Jeffries

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