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By Nigel Slater 27/07 Updated: 27/07 10:34
A BROADWAY artist has completed a two-year-long Olympic mission painting some of the world's top athletes in a bid to raise funds for charity.
In his role as a BT Official Olympic Artist, Jeremy Houghton from Broadway has been given the once in a lifetime opportunity to meet and paint some of the stars ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games - which officially kicks off today (Friday).
Stars of which Jeremy has focused his paintbrush towards include sailor Ben Ainslee, wheelchair basketball player Ade Adepitan, former Evesham Rowing Club member Alex Gregory and South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius. His paintings are to be sold in aid of Paralympic sport charities.
"I feel as If I have lived and breathed the Olympics for two years," Jeremy said. "I've painted some exciting athletes over the past two years but Oscar Pistorius has got to be up there as one of the most inspirational.
"Oscar was a treat to work with. His enthusiasm, humility and talent were amazing and to be the first ever person to compete in both the Olympics and Paralympics in the same year will be a truly amazing feat."
Jeremy also got the opportunity to paint the Great Britain synchronised swimming team during his London 2012 role and said painting water shots proved to be a challenging task.
"I am playing around with the composition and the light and for me it's important that these are action photos as sport doesn't stand still," he added. "They are so home under the water. It's remarkable how long they can hold their breath and they make it look so easy.
"Watercolour is quite an unforgiving medium and you can't make mistakes. One painting might take me three or four hours to paint and yet just one mistake will ruin it.
"Flicking the picture with paint gives the impression of energy and movement from both the artist and the athlete. The water adds an interesting element to the painting."
Jeremy's paintings are currently on display at Olympic venues around the country. For more information about his paintings visit his website at www.jeremyhoughton.co.uk.
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