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Home Deal News Article
Deal cafe Gregory’s is full of famous faces thanks to the owner Jonathan Gregory and his pencil and pad.
Hanging from the walls is an exhibition of drawings of musical and film icons that includes Frank Sinatra, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid actors Paul Newman and Robert Redford.
“I’ve been doing it for quite a long time,” said the former Sir Roger Manwood’s Pupil, 44.
“A few customers know I enjoy drawing and they asked to see them.
He thought people would take a look and he might get the odd compliment, but now the commissions are rolling in for more famous faces.
Jonathan runs the business with wife Bev. They have been at the same premises in Park Street for 13 years, starting out as owners of the cafe, then they ran it as a party shop. Now it is back to what they do best, running a cafe.
It is a tiring business, so the artist likes to take his time with his work at his Blenheim Road home. He doesn’t like giving himself deadlines.
“If someone says they want a picture of Clint Eastwood, I choose the picture.”
“Frank Sinatra was my first one. I didn’t know what to give my mum for Christmas so I did that for her,” Jonathan Gregory owner of Gregory's
He goes to the market stalls at Covent Garden and purchases good quality images to work from, instead of taking them from the internet and balancing a laptop on his knee while he works.
The former Eastry boy always enjoyed drawing, and modestly said he was good enough to pass his O-level art.
He enrolled on art lessons at night school 20 years ago, but left after breaking a leg in a car crash. The time off made him aware that painting and charcoals were not his thing, pencils are his favoured media.
“Frank Sinatra was my first one. I didn’t know what to give my mum for Christmas so I did that for her,” he added.
“Then the next year I thought I had to even it up. My dad likes Elizabeth Taylor, so that’s where it all started.
“Most of the others I’ve done in the last two to three years”.
Jonathan’s work can be seen at Gregory’s cafe, Park Street, Deal. Originals cost between £45 and £80 and unframed prints cost £10.
For more interviews with local people, see the Mercury's People Page.
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