A DORCHESTER artist is celebrating his best ever year.

Colin Willey, who lives in Blagdon Road, sold over 80 paintings during 2013 with works being snapped up by customers from as far afield as Scotland, France and America.

He sold 17 of his paintings during his last exhibition at the Gallery on the Square in Poundbury.

Colin said: “I think 2013 was so successful for me because when the recession hit I made a concerted effort to be more proactive, organised and business like.

“I was worried I may not be able to continue painting for a living if sales dropped off.

“By focusing on the business side and pushing my work more I have found that one opportunity has led onto others and by being more organised with my time I have been able to make the most of the opportunities that have come my way.

“I also think that by getting the business side sorted I have been able to concentrate more on the development of my painting.

“I am clearer about what needs to be done and the direction I’m going in. Of course I also hope that sales are improving because the more I paint the better I get.”

Colin is hoping for another successful year in 2014 with his works due to feature at a number of upcoming events.

He will also be opening up his studio for Dorchester Arts Weeks from May 24 to June 8.