Young artist catches the caring caretaker on canvas

Lucy           presents the portrait she painted of Davy Boyle (The Caring Caretaker) at Flowerfield Arts Centre. Included are Lucy's family Graham, Zita, and Jack and Anthony Toner from Flowerfield.
Lucy presents the portrait she painted of Davy Boyle (The Caring Caretaker) at Flowerfield Arts Centre. Included are Lucy's family Graham, Zita, and Jack and Anthony Toner from Flowerfield.

AS ONE of Coleraine’s most photographed characters, Caring Caretaker Davy Boyle is well used to being portrayed – but he found himself being represented in a different medium this Christmas – on CANVAS, thanks to young Portstewart artist Lucy Glass.

Lucy has painted an unusual and eye-catching portrait of Davy, which the Coleraine Town Hall caretaker was delighted to receive just before Christmas, during his annual sit-out in Coleraine town centre.

Lucy – a pupil at St. Colum’s Primary School in Portstewart – polished her artistic talents during the annual summer recreation scheme arts & crafts classes at Flowerfield Arts Centre. The award-winning Portstewart centre hosts a range of classes for young artists in everything from painting and drawing to creative computers, pottery and even hot glass.

Flowerfield tutor Keith Stynes uncovered some remarkably skilful young artists during the term – but Lucy caught everyone’s attention with her portrait of the Mayor, Councillor Sam Cole.

After the Mayor was presented with his portrait, Davy happened to say that he admired the work – and Lucy decided it would be nice to paint a similar portrait for him. With a little help from Keith Stynes and a few extra after-school sessions at Flowerfield, Lucy came up with an image that may even have surpassed the Mayor’s in artistic terms.

Davy was over the moon with the results – his annual-sit-out in the town centre has continued to bring in thousands of pounds for charity this year, and Davy remains ebullient despite the damp and cold. The arrival of Lucy and family with the portrait was an extra ray of sunshine.

The collection is growing in size with every minute. As photographers arrived to take the pictures, literally dozens of people coming past threw coins and notes into the collection. And not only did Lucy hand over the lovely portrait, but she had a little extra, too – a donation of £100 for Davy’s charity appeal. She and her friends organised some sponsorship for a 50-lap cycle ride around the cul de sac where she lives and brought in some extra cash for Davy.

After the photographs were taken and Davy had accepted the portrait, we asked Lucy what her next work of art would be, but she didn’t have any answers. I