AN ACCRINGTON artist is to have his first major UK exhibition after being discovered in the US.

Retired criminology professor and hobby painter John Tierney, had his big break in LA last June.

After painting the iconic Paul Smith building, the British designer saw the work and had it copied onto silk scarves which sold out overnight.

John was launched into the limelight as a result, enjoying an exhibition at the Melrose Avenue store which featured A-list hollywood stars.

After a busy few months painting, John is now all set to enjoy his first UK exhibiton in London’s exclusive Knightsbridge.

The Horsebox Gallery contacted John after reading online how US critics likened him to David Hockney and Edward Hopper. As a result they invited him to do a large solo exhibition, feauturing 40 paintings.

The gallery is advertising the collection of landscapes John painted in LA, New York, California and Helsinki as ‘noir, glamour and brilliance’.

John said: “It is very exciting news and I am of course looking forward to it. It was amazing to get so much recognition after the scarves were made and we had the exhibition in LA.

“Though there have been lots of talks about various exhibitions since then, it’s been just a few months where I have been very busy painting.

“The Knightsbridge gallery want quite a large number to exhibit and I have only been painting for a year and a half since I retired. I was of course glad to accept their offer though and everything is set for what I hope will be a success.”

Entitled Cool Brio the exhibition is on from Wednesday March 6 until Friday March 29, with a private preview on Tuesday March 5.

The 67-year-old has no formal art training and is entirely self taught. A former Holy Family Secondary Modern pupil in Fern Gore, he said he loved art at school.

After school he began an engineering apprenticeship in Burnley as a draughtsman preparing technical drawings. In his early 20s he chose a different path and began university.

Ultimately he became a criminology professor, retiring from Durham University in 2010, and soon afterwards his art hobby began to really flourish.