Billy Connolly's collected artworks are published in a superb new coffee table book, Born On A Rainy Day

After much anticipation, we're delighted to reveal Sir Billy Connolly's debut deluxe coffee table book, Born On A Rainy Day.  A must for collectors, the 496-page book features witty anecdotes from The Big Yin alongside his incredible portfolio of graphics, including original and never-seen-before titles. What's more, each book comes with a hand-signed limited edition graphic of Billy's self portrait.

The book is hard-bound in black faux leather, and comes in a black clamshell presentation case. The book itself is printed on exclusive, uncoated 180g/m2 paper, and the pages are edged with neon pink, one of Billy’s favourite colours, which reflects the incredible vibrancy of his work. The large-edition publication weighs 7.1kg, and contains images of all the drawings and sculptures which Billy has produced for Castle Fine Art, plus a foreword by Billy's wife, Dr Pamela Stephenson Connolly. This incredible portfolio of work not only includes all the pieces Billy has released, but also unseen works from his prolific career.

"It's a serious book" - Watch our exclusive video below to see Billy talk about his new book.

Billy discusses the deluxe book of his collected art

When presented with the first copy of Born On A Rainy Day, Billy said with a glint in his eye: “This is a serious book. When you get this book you'll say: ‘This guy is an artist. This guy knows what he's doing’.

“It’s not a book for reading to the children at night. It's big, it's got me on the front. You can see it's got my hair, my glasses and my beard carved on the front. And it's that thick and it's heavy. Now that's what you call a book!”

That picture on the front cover of Billy’s collected works is entitled ‘Self Portrait’, and it’s the first piece of art which Billy ever made. He explains how he came to draw it. “I was in Australia and a charity in Perth said: "We want you to paint something and we'll sell it”. I said, "I can't paint, and I've never painted my life". They said: "Yes, you can" and then left me to it, and I drew ‘Self Portrait’.

“As you can see, it's only the hair! The spectacles are not hair, but everything else is; the eyebrows, the moustache and beard. I was amazed how it turned out. And it played on me until I started drawing seriously when I was touring in Canada, and now the success of my art is extraordinary.

“I didn't know there were so many pieces. I thought I must have 12 or 20. I don't know how many, but there are over 300 in the book. 300! That's ridiculous. It's lovely.

“Some of them are quite virginal and purist and they go for the good side of life. And others are quite dodgy and a bit bad taste, which pleases me greatly. They're of a world of their own. There's no similarity whatsoever in writing a book and drawing; drawing, it oozes from you. It takes hold of part of what's in your head and makes you do it on paper.

“Whereas with a written book, you have to prepare it in your head and then sit down and do it. It doesn't respond to ad lib. It's very similar to my comedy. I have trouble seeing myself in that field of art. Especially the field of art that gets the big books.

“It's the kind of things Picasso or Salvador Dali has - it's their field gets the books. And I felt slightly embarrassed by it. It's a peculiar feeling; I had it when I was a folk singer and I had it as a comedian. I always had the feeling that someone was going to come up and say: ‘Well, you did well, but it's over. You've been found out’.

“That comes with being a working class guy. You say to your father, ‘I would like to be an actor’ and then the whole room bursts out laughing. If they'd only realised they by laughing that they'd made my dream come true,” he says as he reflects on a career based on making people happy as a comedian, and now as an artist.

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