Photo: Simon Crompton
From The Times
July 14, 2007
Painting? I can’t turn it off
Six years ago a brain haemorrhage turned Tommy McHugh, a builder, into an unstoppable artist. Juliet Rix reports
Walking into a neat red-brick semi on a housing estate in Birkenhead I am faced with a glittering-eyed tiger. His stare is mercifully benign and his swirling surroundings cover the whole of the inside front door. The room beyond is a cornucopia of shape and colour; every square foot of wall and ceiling a mass of abstract designs, animals and faces. The paintings continue into the kitchen and up the stairs. There are carvings, sculptures, reliefs and smaller pictures propped or hung against larger ones.
This is the home of Tommy McHugh, 57, until six years ago a Liverpool builder, with a rough past as a street fighter, and no apparent artistic inclination. Now he is a man with a passion, full of emotion, driven to create. “My mind is like a volcano exploding with bubbles,