A GRANDAD from Wantage went viral on social media after revealing his hidden artistic talent.

Robert Rose, 87, spent many months at home isolating during the pandemic and to keep himself busy he took to his shed and started painting.

Mr Rose, known locally as Rob Rose, did not show off his talents until his granddaughter Joanna Menzies discovered the beautiful paintings hidden away in his shed.

After sharing the videos of the paintings on social media site TikTok, Mr Rose became an overnight viral hit with more than a million views and thousands of kind comments.

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One video has 1.3 million views, and others have had well over half a million each.

Mr Rose said: "It is a very new experience for me and fantastic to read all the comments from people from all over the world who have now seen my lockdown paintings. It is impossible to take it in or reply to the thousands of comments that were made but I am so pleased that so many people find them interesting."

@joclaxmenz Something else Grandad had been hiding from us! #grandad #painting #hesamazing #hobby #ThenNowForever #fyp ♬ Chiquitita x Twilight - twibytez

As a keen walker himself, Mr Rose took the time over lockdown to paint many local scenes, including Grove Woods, Wantage Market Square, The Wantage Church, Betjamen Park, Ardington Woods and White Horse Hill.

He said: "Most of my paintings are of my walks in and around Wantage. My favourite is probably of the old Wilts and Berks Canal, which I live near to and is where I would often walk during the lockdowns. It is a beautiful spot and provided me with the material for several of my paintings."

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Before retiring in 1990, Mr Rose worked at Wantage Road Station as a booking clerk. Although he says he always enjoyed drawing and painting, he never took his talents seriously.

He has painted pictures for friends and was always the top of the class in art, but for Mr Rose lockdown provided the perfect opportunity to get his brushes out and start painting.

Now, his art is on display in his first exhibition at the Wantage library.

@joclaxmenz Grandad's first exhibition! #Grandad #fyp #paintings #art #ASOSAlterEgo ♬ Still Falling For You - From "Bridget Jones's Baby" - Ellie Goulding

He said: “I hope people enjoy visiting my first exhibition and that it encourages more people to venture into the local walkways that we are so lucky to have on our door step.”

He added: "The staff at the library have been most helpful and I would like to thank them for giving me the opportunity to share 33 of my paintings and to have my very own exhibition for the first and probably the last time, at the age of 87."

His paintings will be on show until Saturday December 18 with some paintings and limited edition prints available to buy.

Paintings by Bob Rose: 

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