An Aberdeen man made redundant from the oil industry has turned his passion for painting into a new career.
Bob Black worked for Petrofac in the Granite City until February 2016 when he lost his job as a result of the sector’s downturn.
The 63-year-old had trained as an artist at the renowned Duncan of Jordanstone art school in Dundee in the 1970s before starting work.
And when he was paid off four years ago Bob decided to make the most of his time and signed up for a volunteer scheme to work in Rio de Janeiro.
He also ended up volunteering near a refugee camp in France and visited one of his colleagues from the camp in her home town of Genoa, Italy.
Bob said: “It wasn’t until the redundancy happened that suddenly all of these opportunities opened up.
“I signed up for a volunteer programme and went to Rio de Janeiro for a month where I taught English and arts and crafts in a community centre.
“Rio was colourful and edgy and you always had to be aware because you could be assaulted for your wallet or watch.
“I went to work in Calais at a place called the Calais Kitchen where we prepared food for refugees.
“We were quite diligent in the kitchen. It was really interesting and we met a lot of people from all over the world.”
After his visit to Genoa he went to Portugal and a charcoal drawing he produced proved important as it caught the attention of his hosts on the Iberian Peninsula.
It was the spark for Bob needed and he decided to enroll in art classes in Aberdeen to sharpen up his skills.
Aberdeen artist Bob Black at Bocadasse outside GenoaFour years on from his exit from the his role in a commercial department in the oil industry he is working full time as an artist and even has a studio in the Granite City.
Bob said now he is working full-time as an artist he believes he can create something from anything he sees.
And he said even the coronavirus crisis could not stop him in his tracks as he continued to produce work despite the restrictions.
Bob said: “When I look at things now I can see subject matter in everything and there is nothing I can’t turn into something visual.
“I got a studio in Shore Lane in February and I decided to go on the NEOS programme. When Covid turned up it didn’t cause me too many problems because I live alone.
“I was only really cycling from my house to the studio. I’ve been very prolific during this period and have produced a lot of work.”
Bob is exhibiting his collection from landscapes from the north-east and across the world as part of NEOS with the showcase at 49c Market Place, Inverurie closing tomorrow.
He joins dozens of other artists taking part in the North East Open Studio events also showing their artistic creations to the public.
Anyone interested in Bob Black’s artwork can visit https://www.facebook.com/bobblackart