'It is with great sadness and regret that we must inform you of Mick Cawston's sudden and untimely death. While we are struggling to come to terms with it ourselves our hearts go out to his family. He will be sorely missed. Sally Mitchell Fine Art 13th Oct 2006
If you were to meet Mick Cawston walking down the path towards you in his old battered jacket, his hair down to his shoulders and his knee hanging out of his jeans you would be forgiven for not realising that he is one of the finest dog painters working in the world today. His work is comparable to that of John Emms or Maude Earl and he works equally well in oils, water colours or pastels. No matter what breed of dog he portrays, the character and likeness of the dog are always superb. Many of his works have been reproduced as limited edition prints and he has been voted 4 times, in the Fine Art Trade Guild survey, as one of the top selling artists, finally wining it in 1998.
Born in 1959 in Dagenham, Essex. His father teaches and translates the deaf and dumb language for the police. He was educated at the Robert Clock comprehensive school and it was here that he won his first exhibition at the age of seven. On leaving school he trained as a cabinet maker before signing up in the army for three years. There, amongst other things, he did a six month tour in Northern Ireland. After the army he spent six months working as a motor cycle messenger in London, earning himself enough money to spend a few months touring Europe.
Throughout all this time his passion for drawing grew stronger and on returning from Europe he spent six months sketching people’s children on the pavements of Covent Garden, in pastel at £3 a time. From here a London silversmith employed him to design silverware, largely for the Arab market. However, interesting as this was, it was never Mick’s great passion and before very long he moved away from London and spent the next three years living in a small cottage on a farm in Burnham-on-Crouch and returned to selling his work on the streets, although this time his price had gone up to £18 a drawing.
Despite his price increase he could not make a living and as a result he started to paint seriously in oils in the early part of 1987. By the middle of 1987 he had been discovered by Sally Mitchell and by the end of this year he had his first two limited edition prints published after his work.
He has never looked back and thirteen years on, the Summer of 2000 saw the publication of his 300th highly successful, limited edition print. This is not to mention the ninety plus images that have been reproduced as successful greetings cards and the dozen or so open edition prints, all after his work.
In 1996, Mick celebrated the publication of his 200th print, entitled Wildlife 200, which is a wonderful composite picture of British wildlife. The painting was used in a children’s competition, run by the national magazine Shooting Times, for young children to name all the animals in the picture. The original painting, an oil on canvas, 24 inches by 36 inches was donated to the Animal Health Trust where it was successfully auctioned for £3000.
He was featured by Gundogs magazine in 1996 as one of the leading dog artists. Later in the year one of his pictures was featured on the cover of this magazine. More recently he has recieved features in 'Countrymans Weekley','Sporting Gun' and 'Deerstalking Magazine'
The first time he exhibited at the Society of Equestrian Artists in London, with only the second horse picture he had ever painted, he won the award for the best newcomer. The next year he was awarded full membership.
His original paintings are widely collected and his pictures hang in collections in many countries, including Sweden, Australia, Kenya, Japan, America and, of course, England.