When injury struck and surgery was required, this meant a long miserable lay-off for me. I had been a competitive athlete all of my life. A cyclist, runner and triathlete and now I was going to be out of action for quite some time. I really didn't know what to do.
I have had a passion for bicycles through competitive cycling and triathlons for most of my adult life. So In the summer of 2009 when I sustained a long term injury and I was unable to ride my bike I thought that the next best thing was to paint other people on bikes.
I decided that summer to re-kindle my passion for Art and pick up the brush again after a many years. I started to paint that year’s Tour de France cycle race and was soon picking up commissions to paint other cyclists.
As an artist I am inspired by an eclectic range of artistic styles, from abstract expressionism to hyper-realism. I have always painted but the enforced lay-off allowed me to re-engage with my artistic roots but also try something new. I love the speed and colour of a bicycle race and the sense of freedom and personal momentum a bicycle brings. Every time I start a piece of work I strive to re-create those sensations directly onto the page. Having been a cyclist for many years I feel I have an instinctive feel for the geometry of the machine and rider and how they should work as one. It is my aim to capture that realism and transfer it directly into the image.
My artistic aspirations and dreams were pretty much written off by teachers at school for being colour blind and in those unenlightened times despite been praised for my art I was denied a place at Art College. Today however I have a BSc (hons) and a MA and I revel in hue and saturation even if the colours I see aren't the same as everyone else.
I feel proud to have painted for many professional athletes and teams and I have had my work exhibited around the UK and sold works which hang on walls throughout the world. Today I am back riding the bike and coaching martial arts and triathlon. Thanks to Tribesports I am now planning yet another Sporting comeback.
You can buy prints and originals of Paul Shipley's paintings on the Veritas Art website with more Olympian and legendary cyclists as well as other famous athletic sports moments!
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