Connect with us


Ex-mechanic, 84, Who’s Never Had An Art Lesson In His Life Paints Incredible Masterpiece – So Can You Tell Which Is The Original?



A pensioner who turned to art after retiring has recreated remarkable pieces of art despite never having a single lesson.

Ken Small, 84, had never picked up a brush until retiring as a mechanic at the age of 65 and realised his true potential was with paint.

North News and Pictures Ken Small, 84, had never picked up a brush until retiring as a mechanic at the age of 65

The grandfather-of-five decided to paint his own life-size version of 18th Century Italian artist Canaletto’s of Canaletto’s “The Bucintoro Returning to the Molo”.

The cheeky chap thought he could do a better job so adapted the original, adding birds, more depth and richer colours.

He calls his jaw-dropping creation ‘The Kenny-lleto’ – which took him three years to complete with a modern form of oil paint called Alkyd.

Speaking from his home near Darlington, County Durham, Ken said: “You just need to keep at it [painting] – and I knew this was my time to shine.

North News and Pictures Small, from Rushyford, County Durham, working on a portrait of The Queen

“I paint because I enjoy it and I don’t feel lonely and depressed – I am very pleased that I have followed my passion into my later life.

“I was always drawing and was fascinated with art when I was younger – but never picked up a brush until I was 65.

“I painted the Canaletto when it took my fancy because there is so much going on in the painting.

“I’ve made it my own and I am really proud of what I have accomplished.

“I used to be shy about my work and not feel confidence but now I’m happy to share.”

North News and Pictures Small has produced a number of stunning pieces, including an impressive large-scale copy of Canaletto’s ‘The Bucintoro Returning to the Molo’, and portraits of the Royal Family

Dad-of-three Ken said he wanted to give up at one point on his Venice piece because the work involved – but his passion for drawing and painting never halted.

However, his work does come at a price – the frames around each of his artwork cost around £1,000 and being hands-on Ken makes his own for around £300.

Speaking about his work, Ken said: “I really wanted to do a big canvas painting and thought I could do a better job on Venice than the real thing – without been cheeky.

“My version is better in my opinion because it is fuller, and has a lot more gold in it.

North News and Pictures Dad-of-three Ken said he wanted to give up at one point on his Venice piece because the work involved

“I’ve added birds, and a dog barking at a bird, and I’ve built the painting up and up.

“My son Stephen kept coming round, because he visits me every week, and he kept saying ‘where is this going dad?’

“But I kept painting in my spare time – it makes me happy because being alone can depress you.”


St Patrick’s Day Revellers Enjoy Boozy Night On The Town As They Celebrate Irish Grand Slam Win At Twickenham




REVELLERS painted the town green as they enjoyed a boozy night celebrating the historic Six Nations finale on St Patrick’s Day.

Ireland made sure it was a day to remember after securing the side’s third ever Grand Slam win at Twickenham – overwhelming defending champions England 24-15 to join the men of 1948 and 2009 in the country’s rugby hall of fame.

Mercury Press St Patrick’s Day revellers enjoy a boozy night on the tiles in Manchester where people dressed in Guinness hats and green costumes

Jubilant rugby fans hit the streets along with millions of other partygoers dressed in bright green outfits, Guinness pint hats and waving Irish flags.

Actor Mark Hamill was among those leading the celebrations in Dublin where he was the event’s first ever international guest of honour.


“Today the whole Galaxy is Irish”, he tweeted ahead of the celebrations.

The galaxy might not be, but planet Earth certainly is: March 17 is the day many of the world’s most famous landmarks illuminate green.

In Budapest, Hungary, the piers of the famous Chain Bridge stood out in bold green against the dark backdrop of the city.

The Empire State Building in New York and Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio, Brazil, have also been given the Irish treatment in previous years.

Mercury Press Paddy’s Day partygoers braved the snow in Manchester to celebrate the annual event on Saturday

Mercury Press A pair of lads donned Guinness hats and matching pints as they marked the historic March 17 for Ireland

Mercury Press Revellers refused to let the freezing cold weather and snowy conditions put them off having a night on the tiles on Saturday

Mercury Press Revellers in Manchester ignored the cold weather as hundreds marked St Patrick’s Day on Saturday

Mercury Press St Patrick’s Day revellers braved the cold weather to enjoy a night on the town in Manchester on Saturday

But Dublin remains the focal point of St Patrick’s Day and thousands took to the streets to celebrate.

This year’s parade will start from Parnell Square at noon and march down O’Connell Street before crossing the River Liffey and finishing at Kevin Street.

Skellig Michael, an island off the coast of Kerry, was used as a location in the latest movie, Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi.

And Hamill, who spent time in County Kerry shooting Star Wars, has a family connection to the great country.

PA:Press Association Star Wars actor Mark Hamill led St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Ireland

Reuters Thousands of Irish rugby fans descended on Twickenham for the Six Nations finale

PA:Press Association Rugby fans braved the cold weather in London, hoping their team clinches the Grand Slam against England

PA:Press Association Participants take part in the St Patrick’s day parade as it makes it’s way down O’Connell street in Dublin

Alamy Live News Thousands took to the streets of Dublin in very interesting costumes for the annual parade

PA:Press Association Hamill looked in great spirits as Dublin’s first ever international guest of honour

Alamy Live News The parade in Dublin parade is to feature over 2,000 members of marching bands

PA:Press Association Thousands took to the streets of Dublin to watch the incredible procession featuring skilled performers and elaborate floats

PA:Press Association Spectators sit on the O’Connell monument to watch the St Patrick’s day parade in Dublin

His great-grandmother Elizabeth Keating was born in Kilkenny in 1873, and left Ireland for America when she was a teenager.

Saturday’s parade made its way through the city and featured over 2,000 members of marching bands from across the country, floats, and performers.

Irish actor Liam Cunningham, famous for his role as Davos Seaworth in television series Game Of Thrones, led this year’s event.

EPA The piers of Chain Bridge in Budapest, Hungary, were illuminated green

AP:Associated Press The Chicago River has been dyed a bright shade of green, kicking off the city’s St Patrick’s Day festivities

AFP or licensors The Vilnia river in Lithuania was also coloured green

Getty Images – Getty Dubliners clambered onto lamp posts to see the procession

PA:Press Association Spectators at the St Patrick’s day parade as it makes it’s way down O’Connell street in Dublin

PA:Press Association A man is dressed as St Patrick during the parade in Dublin

Continue Reading


You Don’t Have To Be A Plus Size To Be A Plus One




NEW research has proved what many of us have known for years – you are more likely to put on weight in a relationship than when you are single.

A study of more than 15,000 people has found those in couples are a fifth less likely to be a normal weight.

Getty – Contributor People in relationships put on weight… who’d have thought it?

Apparently regular family meals are the main culprit, as well as the fact that we eat larger portion sizes in company than when alone.

But the part of the study that really caught my eye was its conclusion that married people gain weight because they no longer need to remain thin to attract a mate.

In other words, once we’ve snared our partner and the door has slammed on freedom, we let ourselves go and start eating all the pies.

I have to say, I find that a bit depressing for various reasons, the biggest being the implication that you are only attractive if you are thin.

Ian Shaw Why should getting married change so much?

But also, am I being idealistic in thinking that being married shouldn’t signal the end of our desire to make an effort to be attractive to our partner?

By the way, in the interests of accuracy, let the records show that I did indeed put on weight after I got married.

But in my defence, if defence is needed, that had far more to do with having two babies than letting myself go.

My husband, meanwhile, hasn’t put on a pound during 23 years of marriage.

To be fair, he spends a lot of time at the gym making that happen but it still drives me nuts. Not nuts enough to go to the gym, you understand.

But then again, I’ve never spent hours at the gym. I didn’t before we got married and so it’s no surprise that I don’t now either.

The reality is that in order to be comfortable enough to get married to someone, and to have children with them, you’ve got to be comfortable in your own skin.

By the time most of us get to that point in a relationship we’ve realised that yes, looks matter but lots of other things do too.

It’s no coincidence that marriage vows mention “For better and for worse, for richer and poorer” but not “For fatter or for thinner”.

In an ideal world we would all celebrate the fact that women come in all shapes and sizes.

Getty – Contributor Plus size model Ashley Graham

Just look at Kelly Brook, Elle Macpherson, Ashley Graham and Jodie Marsh to name but a few — all different but all gorgeous in their own way.

Unfortunately though, there is still a lot of societal pressure — on women especially — to be thin.

And I think younger women are more susceptible to that pressure.

So I really loved reading about Victoria’s Secret model Bridget Malcolm, 26, throwing away her scales after being told repeatedly during her modelling career that she needed to lose weight.

On her blog she shared a picture of herself wearing a bikini during a photoshoot with the caption, “This girl is not fat. I remember around when this photo was taken, I had been told that I needed to lose weight.”

Getty Images – Getty Bridget Malcolm says she is giving up dieting

Having ditched the scales, she’s put on weight but says that now she doesn’t “give a f***” about that, having previously been “at war” with her body.

She still looks blooming brilliant, by the way. She’s a fantastic example of the power of self-acceptance and of not letting people tell you that you should look a certain way.

It’s also a reminder that becoming a size zero requires such a level of dedication that it is a life’s work.
I can only imagine that, as the truth is that I eat what I want when I want.

But I’ve been to my fair share of parties and events populated by beautiful women who are very trim.

So I’m in a position to make the following two observations: Yes, they might look great but they also often look bored and miserable.

That is partly because they can’t eat or drink anything but also because, more often than not, they are there as a Plus One, a beautiful show pony accompanying a more successful man.

Continue Reading


Facebook User Data Breach As ’50 Million Profiles Were Used To Predict And Influence Us Voters’




A DATA analysis firm employed by President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign reportedly tapped the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their permission.

The data leak allowed Cambridge Analytica, which had ties to Trump campaign strategist Steve Bannon, to capitalise on social media activity of a large portion of the U.S. electorate, The New York Times and The Guardian reported.

Reuters The firm had links to the Trump campaign in the 2016 US presidential election

Facebook said it suspended Cambridge Analytica over allegations that it kept the improperly obtained user data after telling Facebook it had been deleted.

In a blog post, the social network explained that the firm had received user data from a Facebook app that purported to be a psychological research tool, though the firm was not authorised to have the information.

Roughly 270,000 people downloaded and shared personal details with the app.

Cambridge Analytica later certified in 2015 that it had destroyed the information it had received, according to Facebook, although the social network said it received reports “several days ago” that not all the data was deleted. Facebook says it is investigating.

AP:Associated Press Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, pictured above. The social media site have said they are investigating

Facebook has also suspended the access of Cambridge Analytica’s parent company, Strategic Communication Laboratories; University of Cambridge psychology professor Aleksandr Kogan, the academic who created the app in question; and another individual, Christopher Wylie of Eunoia Technologies, who also allegedly received user data from the app.

Cambridge Analytica denied wrongdoing in a statement, saying the parent company’s SCL Elections unit hired Kogan to undertake “a large scale research project in the US,” but subsequently deleted all data it received from Kogan’s company after learning the data was obtained in violation of Facebook policies.

The firm said none of Kogan’s data was used in its 2016 election work for the “avoidance of doubt.”

Kogan did not immediately reply to an emailed request for comment. Wylie could not immediately be located.

AP:Associated Press More than 50 million Facebook accounts were tapped without the permission of the users

Cambridge Analytica – which claims to build psychological profiles based on personal details from millions of Americans to categorise individual voters – is best known for its political work during the 2016 US presidential campaign.

But Trump’s campaign Saturday denied using the firm’s data, saying it relied on the Republican National Committee for its data.

The firm had secured a $15 million investment from billionaire Robert Mercer – who supported the Trump campaign – and wooed Bannon with the promise of tools that could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behaviour, it’s claimed.

Splash News It’s claimed the firm wooed Bannon with the promise of tools that could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behaviour

But Cambridge Analytica did not have the data to make its new products work, so the firm harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their permission.

A representative for Bannon did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The company has surfaced in the U.S. probes into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. British officials are also investigating the firm in connection with the June 2016 EU referendum.

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at or call 0207 782 4368 . We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2018 The News Amed