A Bugbrooke man left suicidal from an ongoing battle to save his family home has turned to art to save him from dark thoughts.
Steve Abbott is thousands of pounds out of pocket from a legal dispute to keep the house his grandad built.
He has lived in the village for 18 years and has been fighting for three years to keep the property after his mother had a stroke.
"The whole thing has ruined me financially and mentally,” Steve said.
"I’m not looking for charity, but at this stage I’d take any help, so I’m selling my paintings to help with the costs and I’m open to offers.”
He said the pandemic left him suicidal as he feared he could be evicted from his home because his name is not on the deeds.
“I wasn’t eating properly and my neighbour would drop off leftovers,” Steve added.
"It made me feel safe. This is when my art became the only focus and saved my life. It seemed the darker my despair, the brighter and more popular my paintings became.”
Steve received scores of messages from his Facebook posts and felt a purpose to go on.
"I started my collection of baby animals and splashes to cheer myself – and other people – up. I started putting them in my front window for people to look at and kids would wave bye bye to the baby animals. I got a commision to paint a guy’s little sister for him to give to his mum on the second anniversary of her suicide and that was the end of my dark thoughts. It was like a full circle, an epiphany. My art saved me and there I was painting a beautiful young and talented girl that just hadn’t got something in her life like my art.”
Steve said he wants his art to be accessible to everyone and not exclusive to people who are better off.
He has a keen interest in his local surroundings and wildlife and his work includes delightful scenes of village life.
“So please, please, if you spot a painting that you or someone you know may like, I will accept any fair offers to give these guys a safe new home,” he added.
"All I ask is that people be gentle with their offers on my work as I’m already broken.”
"My prices range from £80 up to £350 for the larger more detailed paintings more for some of my commission portraits. I also have A3 printed canvases for £32 and even some one off cushion covers and tea-towels.”
For centuries people used art as a way to express their feelings and improve their well-being. From a very young age, people instinctively use drawing, painting or modeling clay as a way to communicate, reduce stress and express emotions.
Steve encourages people to get creative to help improve mental health.
To view Steve’s work, visit Abbott's Art and Design on Facebook. His work can also be viewed soon at First Light Photographic & Daventry Framing Centre in High Street, Daventry.
Steve concluded: “For the first time in a long time I have hope.”