From hobby to passion: SAC(T) Ben Elton sells artwork for charity

For around 4 years I have been painting pictures of aircraft in my spare time.

In 2016, I started off by recreating images found online to decorate my room in the accommodation block, and soon after began to piece together more complex one-off compositions as commissioned artworks. Demand for my work grew steadily over the next couple of years. In 2019 I was commissioned by my friend Oliver Pallet, whom I knew through my associations with The Buccaneer Aviation Group and the VC10 Preservation Group at Bruntingthorpe airfield, to produce a homage to his RAF career. I deployed to the Falklands in December 2019, and quickly turned every spare moment to my artwork. I completed Ollie’s composition just in time for Christmas and was met with an overwhelmingly positive response.

Two months later, I awoke to the devastating news that Ollie had lost his life. I returned to the UK the following week and attended his funeral soon after. I presented the painting to his family at the wake who, along with his friends and colleagues, proposed a few options of what to do with the artwork. The collective decision was made that it should be reproduced to raise money for the RAFBF in his memory. The run of 101 prints sold quickly, raising over £3250. The original painting now resides with Ollie’s family, having been claimed by his youngest daughter Cerie, who shared in his intense passion for the VC10 and aviation in general.

SAC(T) Ben Elton