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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 January 2006, 07:21 GMT
Ex-trucker taking artistic road
A Scania truck driving through Wales - picture: Roadscapes
This picture of a Scania truck is Mr Spillett's favourite
A former long distance truck driver, who swapped the road for the world of art, has published a book of his paintings - of lorries.

Alan Spillett, from Aberaeron, Ceredigion, was forced to quit his job of 20 years in 1983 for family reasons.

He took to painting full-time and now has customers throughout the UK, mostly lorry drivers and their families.

Mr Spillett, 59, described his work as a "labour of love" but confessed there was "no money in it".

He said it can take him 40 hours to complete a painting of a juggernaut and he has commissions to last him the next three years.

I hitched a lift with a truck driver back from Newcastle after my failed art school interview... I thought his job was great
Alan Spillett

Now he has published a book, Roadscapes, believed to be the first in Britain to feature just paintings of lorries.

His inspiration comes from his experiences on the road, fellow truckers' memories, family requests and photographs of lorries.

Since 1984, Mr Spillett has painted or sketched 700 of them, and about 130 are in his book.

"After I decided to take up transport art full-time, my wife and I would visit transport rallies and I started selling a few paintings and soon I received a few commissions," he said.

"My customers are mainly truck drivers or families of truck drivers who want a painting for their father's retirement, but there's quite a waiting list at the moment."

An AEC Mammoth Major truck from the 1950s - picture: Roadscapes
His work spans the decades

The idea for a book of his paintings first cropped up 10 years ago, but his interest in art started as a child.

Originally from London, he took the subject at A-level but failed an interview for art school in Newcastle. That set back eventually led him down a totally different career route - truck driving.

"I hitched a lift with a truck driver back from Newcastle after my failed art school interview and he was quite a character," said Mr Spillett, a father of two grown-up children.

"I thought his job was great and soon afterwards I got a driving job through my brother."

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