SIR Billy Connolly’s new artwork collection is unveiled at Castle Fine Art, in the Coppergate Centre, York, today.

The fourth instalment of his Born On A Rainy Day series comprises six limited-edition prints signed by the veteran Scottish actor, comedian and musician, who drops the "Sir" from his nom d'art.

The series was given its title by Sir Billy, 76, in response to being in Montreal on a very cold, rainy day. He bought some pens and a sketchbook and began to draw. Initially drawing desert islands, he soon began to repeat and experiment, eventually refining his ideas.

York Press:

Big Close Up, by Billy Connolly

Sir Billy’s initial ink drawings, released in 2012, were sought after by fans and collectors alike, whereupon he produced a second instalment a year later, demonstrating a developed style and further experimentation with composition and colour, followed by a third set in 2018.

Launching the series at Castle Fine Art in Glasgow, Sir Billy found himself in great demand, whether for interviews with BBC’s The One Show or being showered with affection, countless hugs and homecoming handshakes as he walked around his home city.

Allowing each of his images the freedom to become “whatever it is destined to become”, Sir Billy lets his illustrations evolve as he creates them.

York Press:

Disabled American II, by Billy Connolly

His creative process mirrors the work of the Surrealist automatism movement, whereby the artist allows the hand to move randomly across the paper or canvas, without intent to create anything specifically.

Speaking about his artwork, Sir Billy said: “My art bears no relation to comedy or music. It is pure and unjudged and I am creating for myself.

“It is personal and private, whereas with a film, comedy show or music you expect people to be critiquing, watching, assessing. Art is different: it liberates you.”

Felicity Whittingham, gallery manager at Castle Fine Art, York, said: “Billy Connolly is a true icon and we couldn’t feel more privileged to release his work here in York. Billy’s artwork has a unique, humorous charm that has always been hugely popular with his fans, and we can’t wait to welcome them to the gallery to view the latest collection.”