"In 1994 I was the proprietor of a successful news-agency
business in Shropshire, and had been for a number of years. One balmy hot June day a young chap breezed in to my shop. He was very casually dressed in jeans and teeshirt, tucked under his arm was a
portfolio case. He immediately intrigued me because he wasn't dressed in a manner to make me think that he was yet another company representative selling his wares. He had weather worn features, his
face reddened by years of exposure to the elements. He had a well travelled look about him, bright eyed and alert. The first thing that came to mind was that he had been walking the Shropshire
I was serving customers, so this chap waited patiently until I was free. He introduced himself as Julian Wheat, and apologized for calling in on me unannounced. Julian explained that he was an artist, and that he produced wildlife greeting cards. He had come up from Oxfordshire, and was travelling around the countryside calling in on village shops to sell his greeting cards. My initial thought was, "not another person selling greeting cards". I had so many calling in on me during the course of the week. What intrigued me though, was that he was the actual artist promoting his own work.
Julian opened his portfolio, and I was astonished by what I saw. I was momentarily speechless. The quality and execution of the paintings printed on to the cards were simply beautiful. Within seconds all the customers in the shop were gathered around studying his portraits of wildlife. A good dozen of the greeting cards were already sold to customers before I had even decided to place an order with Julian. One picture that particularly struck me was a study of a Black Labrador. It was quite simply the most stunning portrait of a dog that I had ever seen. Julian told me that it was a portrait of his own dog, and that the original framed painting was in the back of his car outside.
In the back of his car were half a dozen beautiful wildlife portraits. When I suggested that the pictures should be on exhibition in a gallery, he simply said that with a bit of luck, all the pictures will be sold by the end of the week. If they were hanging in some back street gallery, they would not be seen, so they would not be sold.
Based upon what I saw, I asked Julian if he could do a commission for me. Within six weeks he presented me with a unique, beautifully executed piece of art. He has a knack of being able to produce a three dimensional effect from a flat surface. His work is never overworked with detail. Only detail that contributes to the quality of the final work is painted. His paintings have a luminosity that is produced from his expert eye for light and shade. I have commissioned many paintings by Julian through the years, of various subjects ,all of them beautiful pieces of art. They have pride of place on my walls at home.
Julian is an exceptional artist."