M.J.B. battles pandemic boredom with canvas & easel

Mike Baird with one of his latest masterpieces.

Did you ever wonder what happened to Britain’s saucy seaside postcards? They are alive and well and living in Pattaya, Thailand. Far naughtier than Brighton, Michael J. Baird has been producing this homage to our cultural past in the sin city itself, Pattaya.

The Pattaya Mail has been printing Mike’s Life in Fun City cartoons in our newspaper every week in black & white for the last 17 years under the pen name of M.J.B. Along the way, Mike has built up a huge fan club who look forward to seeing what has sparked him off each week.

During the pandemic, however, Mike has returned to his roots.

In his own words, “I used to be an artist when I lived in England. I carried on for a while when I came to live in Thailand 28 years ago, but stopped after being asked to do some cartooning (which I had never done before.) That was 17 years ago.

“I threw away my paints and canvas and only did cartooning. But now, with all the doom and gloom, I find it hard to draw anything funny. I got fed up – so I went over to Friendship Supermarket, bought canvas and started painting again. I didn’t know if I would still be able to paint after 17 years.”

Baird’s painting of Norman Rockwell’s piece called “Gossip” with 30 portraits on a 20″×16″ canvas.

One only needs to look at his Norma Rockwell reproductions to see his gift has not left him in the least.

“I took on copying a Norman Rockwell painting called ‘Gossip’ with 30 portraits on a 20”×16” canvas. Each head was 2 inches – half the size of the original. I was really pleased to see I still had the same old magic in my hands that I had years ago.”

When he finished that project, he said, “I have to do something. I can’t sit around watching TV or computer day after day. (So) I found another Rockwell to paint – ‘The Jester,’ painted in 1939.”

Mike repainted his 3’×2’ painting in new 2021 colours and as you can see, it looks great.

Mike’s revamped Rockwell’s Jester 1939 with better colours for 2021.

Mike said his biggest problem is what to do next, then finished with, “I’d like to remind everyone that it’s coming up to Christmas, so don’t forget the children at the orphanage.”

Mike’s highly popular cartoon eBooks are available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Michael-J.-Baird/e/B009LSTCME