Number 15- Rush Hour III
This painting gave me a great leap, I mean a great leap towards plunging into Art full time. It was painted slowly and carefully for about 6 months or so, combining it with my full time job at St Mungo's, and being a new father of a little boy who was only 1 year old at the time. I was painting from a really bad picture, that wasn't clear at all, so, I kept on inventing all the time. All the faces were derived from my sketches as it was a full motion picture without any detail. I remember taking this picture during the Christmas Rush Hour the year before.
Rush Hour III, Oil on Canvas, 80cm x 100cm, 2007
I remember going to the Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition in 2006 and I watched as they gave out the prizes to the Under 35-Young Painters category sponsored by Winsor and Newton, and I looked at the quality of the paintings and I said to myself, "I can see why I didn't get in." One of the paintings I submitted that year was marked "D"(Which means Doubtful)- which was very encouraging!!! I said to myself, "If I can get a D with this painting, then if I put in triple this effort, I might be able to get in next year!"
That's me with Maureen Lipman CBE and Dennis Syrett(The then President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters)
Then came 2007 and I put in 2 paintings, I was so desperate, I didn't even frame them. But I believed in them. When then results came out. One of the paintings got accepted and the other rejected. I was so pleased! But that wasn't all, I later got a call that I had won the First Prize in the Under 35 Category!!! Now that was the last time I could put work into this category as I was 35 at the time. I couldn't believe it. But that wasn't all, they called me to get the work professionally framed and bring it back in time for the Annual exhibition. This work won me £1,000 worth of Art materials from Winsor & Newton and a week into the exhibition someone bought the painting! That was a great year for me because prior to that I had won another competition organized by Winsor & Newton but that was a Watercolour One! All these little strides kept pumping me up for the great leap in 2008 and looking back, I have no regrets!!!!
Adebanji with winning painting
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are the omnipotent. The slogan "Press on"has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race"