A MAGICIAN who reconnected with his artistic roots during lockdown has been "pleasantly surprised" after his work was purchased from people in the US and Australia.

Paul Smith-Storey, from Moss Bank, has been a professional magician for 34 years.

But delivering entertainment suddenly came to a halt as soon as lockdown happened.

Paul says from day one of lockdown, bookings for the rest of the year were being cancelled.

St Helens Star:


Paul and his partner Anthony, 47, who works for the NHS, had sold their house just three weeks before lockdown, to follow their dream of living on a narrowboat and having a more relaxed and alternative lifestyle.

So with all the stress in their life, Paul went back to his artistic roots and started drawing wildlife - and the response has been amazing.

Paul, 52, said: "I attended St Helens College in the old Gamble building, but took a 30 year break from art.

"For the last year or so I really started to get back into my art and joined the local art group at Moss Bank, they are a great bunch and encouraged me to keep drawing and painting.

"I kept wishing I had more time to pursue my art and then lockdown happened, I had no excuses.

"I started to show my work on social media and people kept telling me I should sell my art.

St Helens Star:

"I set up a website and within a week most of my originals were selling in the USA and Australia as well as the UK.

"I've been pleasantly surprise, I've sold them to people closer to home but also in the USA and Australia - who just love the British wildlife and nature.

"I love it too and I've really enjoyed reconnecting with my art during this time - hopefully when we can eventually move on to our narrowboat I can spend even more time doing this."

Paul's website for his art is paulsart.uk.

The Youtube channel Paul and Anthony have set up to document their narrowboat move is called Narrowboat Life Unlocked.