Fond tributes as artist David Weston dies

(May 11, 2011)

Well-known Leicestershire artist David Weston has died after a long battle with a chronic lung condition.

The 75-year-old, of Kirkby Bellars, near Melton, became known as the Railway Artist in the 1980s and early 90s after his paintings depicting the romance of steam were taken on by the London Transport Museum.

David died at the Loros Hospice.

He had been suffering from alveolitis, a lung disease, which worsened after a bout of pneumonia last year.

Friend Judy Buerling, who was a member of the Kirkby Bellars Group of Artists – a local organisation started by David 30 years ago – said it was a sad day for art.

Judy, of Kirkby Bellars, said: "David was a friend and an inspiration. I was lucky enough to join the group after moving into the village 17 years ago and he was kind enough to share his love of art with us all."

She said David had been taken into hospital on the weekend of the group's 30th anniversary exhibition.

"He knew back in November that he would not be fit enough to open the exhibition, so he asked his daughter Karen to take his place.

"He made us promise that this exhibition was going to be the best one yet.

"David also made us promise that the group would carry on for many more years to come."

Latterly, David had painted landscapes, architecture and interiors, both in England and abroad and his pictures fetched sums well into four figures.

His last personal exhibition at his Kirkby Bellars studio in October sold out, with buyers from as far afield as the USA.

David, who received a honorary degree from the University of Leicester, had been confined to bed for most of the time and relied on oxygen to help him breathe.

His wife, Mary, 75, is in remission from cancer.

A family spokesperson said: "David passed away peacefully, but very courageously, after a long illness on Tuesday, May 10, aged 75."

Judy said: "Not only was David a wonderful artist, he was a very charismatic man. He was a raconteur and a true gentlemen.

"He will be sadly missed by many, many people."

Leicester Mercury

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