An artist who began work when he retired six years ago has become an associate member of the world-renowned Society of Graphic Fine Art.

Graham Heron, 71, was always interested in art but was discouraged from taking it up professionally, he explains: “It’s something that I wanted to do as a teenager but at the time it was difficult because my father died when I was quite young and I had four brothers, they said ‘no you’ve got to go out and get a real job. It’s no good taking up art as a career’.

“It was only when I retired I had then the opportunity to follow my true love I suppose, and I was fortunate enough to really concentrate and become quite prolific in what I do.”

Graham’s work is made up of a variety of subjects and media, but all characterised by extreme detail.

“My work is almost photographic, realism really. I love to do extremely detailed work. My watercolours and colour pencil work is very loose. I do a lot of landscapes and atmospheric work. I do anything from wildlife, landscapes, portrait – any subjects really – boats, cityscapes. I’m not limited in what I do. My drawing ability allows me to do this as I can more or less draw anything in extreme detail.”

To become a member of the Society of Graphic Fine Art Graham had to take his work before a committee and then leave it with them for judgement. He explains: “They are quite a prestigious society. There’s only about 140 members and they’re recognised internationally. They do turn an awful lot of people away but this time I was fortunate and have been selected so I’m really, really pleased.”

The SGFA was established in 1919 to promote good drawing draughtsmanship. An early president was Sir Frank Brangwyn and both Ronald Searle, British artists and satirical cartoonist, and painter-printmaker John Piper exhibited with the society.

Honorary members today include Royal Academician professor Ken Howard OBE, the award-winning illustrator Victor Ambrus and Ronald Maddox, president of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours.

The society’s members work in both traditional and contemporary styles in all drawing and printmaking media. Membership elections are held twice a year with applicants submitting a portfolio of their artwork. The society organises local and regional events throughout the year, culminating in an annual open exhibition in London.

President of the SGFA Jackie Devereux says: “The society has a long and distinguished history. It’s the only national art society whose sole aim is to promote drawing, and we’re delighted to welcome Graham as one of our newest members.”

Graham’s work is currently on display until Sunday, June 267 at his in-house gallery in Lane End as part of Bucks Open Studios. He is also a member of the West Wycombe Arts Group whose annual exhibition will run over the August bank holiday weekend.

More than 500 artists will showcase their work in over 200 venues and studios across Buckinghamshire until Sunday, June 26. Details: 01296 614283,

West Wycombe Arts Club summer exhibit, West Wycombe Village Hall, High Street, West Wycombe, HP14 3AB, Friday, August 26 until Monday, August 29.