Self-taught artist Anthony Palmer is one of St Bartholomew’s Court’s longest residents.

Self-taught artist Anthony Palmer with one of his works

Anthony, who remarks that he’s “always liked Rye”, moved to Sanctuary Retirement Living’s East Sussex community in 2010. He’s certainly lived a colourful life, growing up in the outback of Australia and teaching himself to paint entirely from memory.

Whilst he’s always worked in the exciting world of art, from the fashion industry through to animation, he’s never had a single art lesson – just a real love of painting. In a mix of watercolours and pastels, he’s developed a style of his own where he creates an image from his recollection of a place or event without resorting to literal representation. The paintings do not yield his secret, however, and admiring the way the sails sit on his watercolour fishing boats, you would think that he’d sat on the dock to paint them.

It’s these fishing boats that Anthony loved so much about Hastings where he used to live, as Anthony has lived by the sea for most of his life. Anthony reveals that Hastings is one of Britain’s oldest fishing ports, and it still has the largest fishing fleet today, musing that it’s a beautifully unique place for boats. He's been fishing all of his life - his brother owned a fishing boat, so when he's painting from his mind’s eye, he knows exactly what a boat should look like.

He’s commissioned paintings for various people over the years, including a ‘Battle of Hastings’ mural for Battle council. It’s the paintings of fishing boats that people like best, though, according to Anthony. He is not about fame or fortune, and has always worked closely with charities, namely St Michael’s Hospice, and over the years, he has organised plenty of art shows to raise lots of money for their wonderful causes.  

These days, Anthony enjoys relaxing in his apartment at St Bartholomew’s. The retirement community’s onsite care team are on-hand to provide any personalised support he needs, which helps him to maintain his independence and enjoy spending his retirement in his own home.

I’m very happy living at St Bartholomew’s Court. The staff are fantastic – truly.

Anthony, Resident

This is why Anthony gifted a wonderful water-colour painting to the team in August 2021, for their efforts in response to the Covid pandemic. A framed plaque beside his stunning donation reads “We thank all frontline care staff, their support teams and all visiting private carers. We salute you all.”

To find out more about life in one of Sanctuary Retirement Living’s retirement properties, see our latest news from our communities, or search for a property near you.

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