Tam’s face makes a pretty picture

Tam and Israel
Tam and Israel

A prolific poet has had his portrait painted by an internationally- renowned artist after a chance encounter at a Glasgow market.

Tam Craven, from Lennoxtown, has written over 30 volumes of poetry since suffering life-altering injuries in June 1987 when he fell from a scaffold in Campsie Glen while working as a bricklayer.

He was selling copies of his books at Glasgow’s Candlerigg’s Market when he caught the eye of none other than Israel Zohar - an artist who has previously painted the likes of Princess Diana.

Tam explained: He came to my stall, bought some of my books and invited me down for a coffee.

“He said he’d read some of my poems and he loved them.”

Israel then offered to paint Tam’s portrait and, a few weeks after taking a snap of the bard, he’d completed the stunning painting.

He travelled up to Scotland recently to present Tam with the finished article at the stall Tam has manned for the last few years.

The artist told him: “It’s a very unusual combination. You gave me the chance to look underneath the form and find the depth of the preson I know is revealed in your poetry.

“It was a huge challenge for me. I was looking for the spirit and I hope I got it.

“I was looking for something that is only in you when you sit down and write and this is the persona, I believe, that nobody ever sees.”

In return Tam presented Israel with a framed and specially dedicated copy of his poem ‘Ballagan Rock’.

For more about Tam’s poetry, including where to buy his books, go to www.insideasnowdrop.com