The Rainham man who painted as he fought cancer

PUBLISHED: 09:00 16 March 2013

William Starling with some of his paintings

William Starling with some of his paintings


A man who took up painting after being diagnosed with cancer will display his work at the Queen’s Theatre.

Some of William Starlings artworkSome of William Starlings artwork

Brian Starling, 72, was forced to retire from his job as a builder six years ago when he discovered he had prostate cancer.

After an operation to remove the tumour he was left immobile while he recovered and decided to take up painting.

Brian, of Locke Close, Rainham, said: “I was a self-employed builder and had no time for painting.

“I would get up at 5am to drive to London, work there during the day, then get home late when I had to do estimates or bookwork.

William Starling with some of his paintingsWilliam Starling with some of his paintings

After his cancer operation he was fitted a catheter, which he said left him with little mobility.

Brian took up painting to pass the time, and distract from the pain.

He said: “I started painting and it was the first time I had done anything like it. I never had the time for it

“When I started I thought I would do a few drawings and paint trees and that’s how I became interested. And because I had so much time and could not really move I completed about 50 paintings.”

His exhibition, which includes watercolours, acrylics and oil paintings of people, animals, trains and planes, will be at Queen’s Theatre, in Billets Lane, Hornchurch, until Friday, March 22.

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