In all fairness, I must disclose up front that it is not possible for me to be completely objective here. George Cross is my great-uncle and I am extremely proud of his accomplishments. One of my cousins, on a recent visit, gave me a copy of this book, and reading it only compounded my respect for Uncle George.
George began painting in his late 60s, which means there is still hope for me. He never took a lesson and painted solely as a hobby. But his works became noticed and he has since received much acclaim in England, including, I am told, a visit from Prince Charles. At the ripe age of 102, he still paints and is active in the community.
The book itself is a visual glimpse into Liverpool’s past. The paintings depict a way of life that no longer exists, a period when rustic life was transitioning to modern society. But by far the most fascinating aspects of the book are the commentaries, which were given by George to groups of school children and recorded. George is able to provide names and stories related to the places he paints which ultimately bring the works to life.
At one point, George relates an incident that demonstrates his modesty regarding his artistic accomplishments: “… while I was painting in the car, some school children came up and said ‘Look, there’s an artist,’ so I packed up and went away.” Personally, I suspect that future generations will remember George Cross as an artist.
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