Q Tell us about your childhood
A My childhood was before the Troubles, so it was all very idyllic and normal and there was great freedom back then.
It doesn't seem as if children today have the same freedom as I had when I was a kid. During the school holidays me and my friend would have had our breakfast and gone off somewhere and our parents wouldn't have had a clue where we were - up the glen or up the hills somewhere - and then we came back for lunch and off out again.
I came from a working-class family, so we didn't have a huge amount of money, but we went on holidays to Groomsport and Portrush and places like that - it was a nice childhood.
I have one brother, he's 10 years older than me. I remember when I was six or seven, he used to take me out on his motorbike. He was and is a great brother.
Q What are you most proud of?
A I suppose in terms of what I do now as a painter - the fact that I didn't have formal art training, it really was all either self-taught or mini courses - and eventually being recognised as being okay at painting by things like art magazines and book publishers.
I think for anyone who is in anything creative whether it's writing or music, it's very difficult to know if you are doing it right, it's only when someone else acknowledges it [you know]. I have been writing for Artists & Illustrators magazine for eight years and I have written a few books for Search Press. I'm quite proud that I have managed to do that myself more or less.
Q The one regret you wish you could amend?
A I try and not have regrets because I don't think they are terribly helpful things, but I suppose I wish I had started drawing and painting earlier. I only started in my early thirties.
The problem with anything creative is, your learning goes on forever, so the sooner you start the more you will eventually learn. I am a bit disappointed that I lost 10 or 15 years of learning.
Q What about phobias. Do you have any?
A I'm awful with heights. I'm okay on an aircraft or if I'm fully enclosed or strapped down or something like that, but I'm no good with anywhere open. I wouldn't go within 50 feet of a cliff edge or a railing on top of a building. And as for glass floors… seriously, I don't think so.
Q The temptation you cannot resist?
A Cadbury's Dairy Milk. I love chocolate, so much so that I try not to have it in the house.
Q Your number one prized possession?
A There used to be an old retro shop in North Street in Belfast. One day I was in and there was an acoustic guitar hanging there, it was a Yamaha and cost £10, but the neck was almost broken off.
I thought for £10 I will buy it as it will give me something to do over the winter, I would try and fix it with no real idea if I would be able to.
I went on YouTube and eventually I was able to fix it and got the neck back on. I got it all restrung and when I played it and it was the loveliest sounding guitar that I have ever owned. So much so, that I had one that cost well into the four figures and I sold it because this 'party guitar' was better. It looks as if it was thrown in a skip or dropped downstairs, but out of all my guitars if I could only save one, that would be it.
Q The book that's most impacted your life?
A A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens because it's a sort of metaphor for life. Anyone - no matter how evil or nasty you are - can find redemption through good deeds. I would agree with that.
I think it shows how easily people who are well off can go down a wrong path. It's a good social commentary for its time and it's surprisingly still relevant 150 years or so later. I try to read it every year before Christmas, it's the book I keep going back to.
Q If you had the power or authority, what would you do?
A I would create a ministry for common sense. There are so many stupid rules and laws that anyone with any common sense could sort out straight away.
Q What makes your blood boil every time without fail?
A Disrespectful people who think about nobody but themselves, they really annoy me - people who park across two bays for example or those who organise lockdown parties.
Q Who has most influenced you in life?
A My family, and I mean in the widest possible sense, so everybody from distant cousins and aunts and uncles when I was young, to today when I have my own family; my wife and two daughters. Because everything I do is geared towards my family, therefore everything I have learned, I have learned from my family.
Q Your top three dinner party guests, dead or alive, and why?
A My three would be Leonard Coen the singer and writer, comedian Billy Connolly, and Jacques Cousteau the environmentalist.
Leonard Cohen, quite simply because if I had to pick my favourite artist of that type it would be him. His lyrics are so good, the way he writes is so incisive, and I just love his voice.
Billy Connolly makes me laugh even before he even starts speaking.
Anything that I have ever seen him do is always interesting; the shows, the travelogues, I have read a few of his books, and they are all really good and interesting and funny.
When I was a kid, I was really interested in the natural world and Jacques Cousteau was the first television naturalist.
Everything he did was under the sea, it was completely outside anything I had could ever imagine experiencing, and it was him that stirred an interest in me for the environment.
Q The best piece of advice you've ever received?
A My mother-in-law, Mabel Thompson, always had little sayings for everything. Sadly, she died last year at 103, so there was 103 years' worth of sensible advice for her.
One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received from her was, 'You die if you worry and you die if you don't, so why worry?'
Unfortunately, I am a born worrier, I worry about not having anything to worry about, but I can't argue with the truth of the advice.
Q The unlikely interest or hobby that you love?
A One thing that I did try during lockdown last year was - I had a piano and the case of it was terrible looking and someone said, "You should get that French polished". I looked up French polishing on YouTube and I thought, 'I can do that'.
French polishing is a way of putting a lacquer on wood and if it's done well it ends up almost like a mirror finish.
I did the whole piano and it looks brilliant even if I do say so myself. And after that I French polished anything that moved.
Q The poem that touches your heart?
A The one that touches me is the poem, Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep. It doesn't have a title as such [poem attributed to Mary Elizabeth Frye].
It sort of promises a life after death where you are still remembered - you are a memory at least.
On a scientific level; matter cannot be created or destroyed, so it means that we are all made from what was already there before we arrived, and when we go we will become part of something that follows on after us.
It's a touching poem and although it's a sad one in many ways, it's quite uplifting as well as it shows it's not the end; you will live on in some way, either through a memory or by being part of something else.
Q The happiest moment of your life?
A For me there are lots of little happy moments that stand out, such as my children's first words or first steps, Christmas mornings when the children were young, a nice meal out with my wife… little things are what make me happy.
Q And the saddest?
A When one of my daughters was 10 she was diagnosed with lymphoma which is a blood cancer. My daughter is fine now and she's a mother to two of my grandchildren.
But it's a terrible thing to be told as a parent - it was a September when she was diagnosed - the doctor more or less suggested there would be a 50% chance she would still be with us at Christmas.
That was very sobering and the saddest thing in my life.
And unfortunately, I knew lots of families where their children didn't make it through.
Q The one event that made a difference in your life?
A My mother-in-law painted watercolour all her life. Back when I was in my early 30s, she asked me if I could give her a lift to her art class.
Rather than having to go away and come back again, I sat at the back. I was mesmerised by the class and that started me on the road to painting.
Q What's the ambition that keeps driving you forward?
A It's to always paint a better painting, because if you have already done your best work, then what are you going to do tomorrow?
So I am always pushing myself to do better. I'm always hoping the best is still to come and I'll be hoping that to my dying day.
Q What's the philosophy that you live by?
A Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I think if we all followed that philosophy life would be much easier for everybody.
Q How do you want to be remembered?
A I'd like to be remembered as a great guitarist but that's never going to happen (laughs). If I'm remembered that would be nice, and if I'm remembered with a certain fondness and as a half decent painter, I think I'll be perfectly happy with that.
To see Grahame's work, visit www.grahamebooth.com/gallery.html