IT IS back to school for an artist this week as he returns to his former childhood haunt to exhibit a collection of his landscapes.
Self-taught Bert Barnett (66, pictured) is showcasing his work at the former Mexborough Secondary Modern on College Road today and tomorrow (June 12 and 13).
Around 24 oil paintings are on display at the building, which has long since been converted into Mexborough Business Centre.
Bert, who now lives in Leeds, was at the school in the 1960s and left his home town of Mexborough when he was 16.
The retired bricklayer is showcasing a range of works, including depictions of the White Cliffs of Dover, Harringworth Viaduct, and fictional landscapes.
Bert said he had been persuaded to show his works in his old home town by a friend who still lived in Mexborough.
“I have been painting on and off since I left school, but more since I retired, and now I have got enough to get an exhibition together,” said Bert.
“I was told my paintings were too good to keep in the house. I thought I would exhibit them to see what happens.”
Bert visited the business centre recently and was given a tour of the building so he could see how it had changed over the years.
“It brought back a lot of memories,” he said. “I never liked school but I always liked art. I think I was pretty good at it.
“It’s going to bring back a lot of memories and I have invited a lot of my former school friends.
“It will be a fantastic day for me.”
Bert said he had been inspired to pick up his brushes again after finding a YouTube video by the late Bob Ross, an artist famed for his instructional TV show which aired in the US in the 1980s and 1990s.
“Bob inspired me to start painting again,” said Bert.
“I’ve been painting again for about two years - I took it up again just after I left hospital after a heart attack.
“It’s relaxing and I enjoy the creativity of it.
“I like the fact I can look at it and think: ‘That’s come from me I have done that.’”
Berts exhibition paintings are on sale for around £45 to £50 at the exhibition