Anthony Earnshaw

Whitby Gazette

Whitby Gazette

Above left: Tony's beloved cartoon character Wokker.

Above right: Tony is pictured with one of his box pictures, while Gail's painting is highly detailed and colorful.

SALTBURN artist Tony Earnshaw, quietly working away in a tall terraced house near the sea, keeps a low profile in his adopted town. But this modest unassuming man is

a giant in his own field.

Tony is one of the country's foremost surreal artist.

His career spans more than half a century and in addition to painting, drawing and model-making he's written poems, collaborated on two successful novels, and had a spell as a cartoonist.

His work has been recognised on television and radio and he's exhibited, both in one man shows and with other artists at a string of venues in this country and abroad.

Tony has lived in Saltburn for eight years since his wife Gail, also an artist came to the area to work at the Cleveland Gallery in Middlesbrough.

Tony was born in Ilkley in 1924, after the death of his father. He had to leave school at 14 and became an apprentice fitter and turner and then worked in engineering factories for the following 20 years.

His wife Gail explained: "He's an entirely self-taught artist. But he was always painting and drawing.

"When he was in the factory they used to say 'that daft Earnshaw's painting pictures again'.'"

"But it was through his interest in poetry and literature he discovered surrealism. He says simply: "It changed my life".

Surrealism was far from fashionable but it would seem the perfect vehicle for his wide-ranging imagination and quirky, off-beat humour.

His continuing interest in art, finally led to escape from the factory floor - he was invited to work part time at Harrogate Collage of Art, teaching mature students.

During the 1960's his work became increasingly well-known in exhibitions in London and throughout the country. Jazz musician and entertainer George Melly became one of his fans and a close friend. He exhibited with Man Ray and Glen Baxter - another friend.


Anthony Earnshaw - The Imp of Surrealism