John H. Seabrook, known as Jack was born in Islington in 1935 and because of the war his schooling was patchy. However it soon became apparent that he possessed a talent for art. Unable to afford attendance at art college, he used libraries and became a self-taught artist. It was around 1979 that he took up residence in sunny Benfleet having visited the area on family holidays.
Called up for national service he opted to stay in the army a further 18 months and then began a 34 year stint as a Bank of England messenger.The highlight of which was the Bank’s prestigious art competition, which Jack duly won with a picture of the bank in the rain. However Jack was not aware of this and went along to the reception not knowing that he was the winner of the 300 guinea first prize (Value today = £443) . It was a pleasant surprise when colleagues started to congratulate him.
The seven watercolours displayed here are mostly based on Edwardian photos, but the two oils were done on location His early work was very much based on commissions to paint people’s cats and dogs, but a post retirement job in Canary Wharf brought a new audience. The accompanying magazine article reproduced here is taken from the Summer 1995 edition of The Courier.