A GIFTED Cheshire artist is through to the final of a prestigious national competition.

David Boardman is ‘amazed’ to have been shortlisted for the annual British Art Prize.

His imaginative piece entitled ‘Los Gallos ll’ has been selected for the final 50 from thousands of entries.

The colourful fiery image of Flamenco dancers will feature in an exhibition at the Oxo Gallery in London in the January.

Knutsford Guardian: Los Gallos ll, selected for the final 10 from thousands of entriesLos Gallos ll, selected for the final 10 from thousands of entries (Image: David Boardman)

“To have been chosen by a panel of such high calibre is fantastic,” said dad-of-two David, 50, from Knutsford.

“They know their stuff, this is a real validation.

“I didn’t for one second think I’d get chosen. When I received the email telling me I was one of 50 finalists, I thought it was a prank.

“It’s absolutely amazing.”

The competition is organised by Artist and Illustrator magazine.

David developed a passion for modern art whilst studying for a diploma in art and design, followed by a degree in illustration.

“I was very influenced by the work of Cubism and Picasso,” he said.

“It was a big of a light bulb moment for me and made sense of modern art.”

His shortlisted work of art was inspired by the futuristic style.

“I did a whole series of paintings of Flamenco dancers,” said David.

“As a form of expressive movement, it is very powerful, dynamic and expressive.

“It is quite a rich scene.

“I entered my favourite one.”

‘Los Gallos’ is the name of a bar in Seville where Flamenco dances are staged.

After pursuing a career in commercial illustration, David decided to concentrate on producing fine art canvases.

He has undertaken many commissions and put his work on public display.

“I’ve had exhibitions all over the UK but never had a piece in a London gallery,” said David.

“To have my work appreciated on a national scale is fantastic.”

David developed a love of drawing and painting as a child, inheriting artistic skills from his late grandad, William Ellis, from Runcorn, a renowned Cheshire painter.

“He was an incredible landscape painter,” said David.

“He mainly did landscapes and nautical scenes.

“I remember watching him painting. He used to make incredible models of boats of out wood which took him years.

“He was an extremely talented guy.”

David’s other big passion is music.

Over the years, he has played guitar and sang with several bands.

Fine Lines, his current seven-piece Americana band, featuring BBC radio presenter Mark Radcliffe, was support to Hollywood film and TV star Kiefer Sutherland on his UK tour last year.

“I supported Elton John in the O2 arena,” said David.

“I’ve always had two creative things, music and art.”

David teaches individual guitar lessons to pupils at Cheadle Hulme High School.

Members of the public can vote for the People’s Choice Award.

Visit awards.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/2023-shortlist to see the 50 finalists.

“It would be incredible if I won,” he said.

“I would like to go back to painting full time one day.”