I was born in Hornsea, a small seaside town in East Yorkshire. I went to the local secondary school. There I was lucky enough to have an art teacher, Mr. Robinson, who, when I was 15 suggested that instead of history, geography and maths I would be more successful if I concentrated on art. So he arranged for myself and a friend to have the use of a room separate from the main art area where we could work under his tuition. When I was 16 the visiting Careers Advisor told me there was a job going spraying cars (art-related ha ha!) in a small firm in the backstreets of Hull which he thought I should apply for. During the interview there Mr. Robinson rang the foreman and asked to speak to me. He told me not to take the job because he had set up an interview at Hull Art College and suggested I should go for it. Which, happily, I did.
There I specialised in Illustration and Graphic Design. During my final year I made a set of horoscope drawings which my tutor suggested I should send to a friend of his, the Art Director of Woman’s Own Magazine . They were accepted for publication and I was handsomely rewarded (for an art student). This encouraged me to
come down to London after graduation to look for work. For the next year or so I freelanced, doing illustration for various magazines, publishers, etc. Eventually I was offered a permanent job on a national newspaper, where I was lucky enough to win the Graphic Artist of the Year award a couple of times.
I finally left Fleet Street to concentrate on my own work in charcoal, pastel and watercolour and in 2001 managed to win a drawing award at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. This led to my being contacted by London’s Roman Black Gallery. He took me on and showed me in his gallery and at various art fairs.
Now I am represented by the Rebecca Hossack Gallery in London and New York, the Drang Gallery in Padstow, Young-Jamieson Fine Art in Marlborough, Wiltshire and Thompson’s Gallery in Aldeburgh. Over the years I’ve had a one-man show and several two-person shows with the Rebecca Hossack Gallery and in 2017 I had a two-person show with fellow Pastel Society artist Patricia Cain.
Roy has taken part in many group shows, including the Cheltenham Open Drawing, Drawings & Watercolours Fair, New English Art Club, Laing Landscape Competition , Messum's, London Art Fair, 20/21 British Art Fair, Art DC Washington USA, Hunting Art Prizes, AA Fair NYC New York, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, Roman Black Gallery, Thompson's, Martin's Gallery, Art on Paper Fair, Fine Art & Antiques Fair, Kew Gardens Gallery, Art London, Southampton City Art Gallery, Art Melbourne Australia, Orleans House Gallery and the RA Summer Exhibitions of 2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2011 (shortlisted 2008 and 2010).
I get inspiration for new work by spending a lot of time looking for subjects I may be interested in. Luckily I live next door to Richmond Park with its acres of woodland containing thousands of ancient trees. I try to respond to the environment I find myself in with sustained observation, getting a lot of satisfaction from spending many hours in close scrutiny of a single tree. The oak (one of my favourite subjects) is a living thing charged with history and its own individual personality. I like to capture and pick up a mood and the atmosphere of the moment. I may be drawn to the bark of an ancient oak or snow clinging on to the branches and trunks in winter. I like to represent the natural world throughout the different seasons. Several of my latest works (The Fence) have focused on the way plastic packaging is encroaching on our natural environment.
I usually make sketches of the tree I want to draw (it is important to spend time getting to “know” the tree) then work out the type of paper I need and the size I want the finished piece to be. Working from sketches I will make a final drawing back in my studio.
As for my cityscapes, I like to find a high vantage point, for example the top of the Arc de Triomphe, from where I can see the whole of a city, which is in itself fascinating. There is a beauty and thrill in looking over a large city. I sometimes make quick sketches (if I have the time and space) and take photographs for the detail. I always do the final drawings back in my studio and transform my sketches/photographs into large, densely-detailed charcoals. It usually takes many weeks to finish them. The positioning of each building is like completing a complicated jigsaw puzzle. It is really tricky getting all the angles and the perspective right. In fact it is quite exhausting and sometimes becomes overwhelming. Then I need a period of time away from it. Eventually the compulsion to finish the drawing returns and I can continue with fresh eyes and renewed concentration.
The papers I use are mainly watercolour with a rough texture and good tooth. Fabriano Artistico (rough 300gsm) which is quite white, responds well with a putty rubber. For my really large trees I have been using a Southern Indian Khadi (480gsm) which is very heavy and rough. The charcoal drags, giving me an uneven line and I can get thick deep blacks where needed. I occasionally use a heavy duty cartridge for a softer feel. Most of the time I’ll be using willow charcoal sticks of various thickness and for the fine lines I may use charcoal pencils. The years I spent as an illustrator working with black ink still influence my way of working now, especially my approach to detail and composition.
2011 - The Daler Rowney Award (Pastel Society)
2009 - The Anthony J Lester Art Critic Award (Pastel Society)
2003 - Elected as a member of the Pastel Society
2002 - Willie Hoffmann-Guth Award (Pastel Society)
2002 - Award for most popular work in "Arcadia in the City" exhibition
2001 - Royal Academy Summer Exhibition award for a drawing of a work of architecture
1999 - Cross Gate Gallery, USA, Award (Pastel Society)
1988 - Graphic Artist of the Year (British Press Awards)
1987 - Graphic Artist of the Year (British Press Awards)
Member – The Pastel Society.
‘Silver Birch, Late Summer’ drawing chosen to be illustrated on greeting cards 2014 (Canns Down Press).
‘Oak Tree, Spring’ 2007 Charcoal drawing chosen to be illustrated on greeting cards sold through the Royal Academy of Arts shops 2007/08/09/10/11/12/13/14 (Canns Down Press for RA Enterprises Ltd).
‘You Can Never Hold Back Spring IV’ 2011 Charcoal drawing image selected for postcards to be sold through the Royal Academy of Arts shops 2011/12/13/14. (For RA Enterprises).
‘You Can’t Hold Back Spring’ drawing featured on The Culture Show Special at the RA Summer Exhibition, (BBC2) Thursday 14 June, 2011.
‘Oak Tree, Spring’ displayed on two cards as part of a special promotion with a tree theme at the Royal Academy shop during the David Hockney Exhibition 2012.
‘Autumn Oak’ used as cover image on Tim Whitehead Quartet’s CD ‘Too Young To Go Steady’ 2007.
Large charcoal drawing ‘Late Summer Oak’ used in one of the show flats on the NEO Bankside website and on billboards outside Tate Modern to promote the residential scheme on the Southbank (2012/13/14).
February 2014: Charcoal drawing ‘London Looking East from St. Paul’s’ installed in the ParamountSoho SkyBar (CentrePoint).
January 2015: Eight charcoal drawings installed at the Marylebone Hotel, 47 Welbeck St, London.
The Open University, Liberty Syndication (Boston, USA), BHF Charterhouse CCF, Merrill Lynch British Collection, Richmond & Twickenham Arts Council, Donald Nowicki (Art acquisitions Ralph Lauren), Ralph Steadman, Harrogate Borough Arts Council, Countess of Perth, Lady Langley, Bauencorp (Architects), Ian McMillan (Architects), Nomura Code Securities Ltd, Heather Binney (Natural Climate Variability & Global Warming), Annabel Allot (Soil Association), Evans Property Holdings Plc, Black Family Investments, Ros & Steve Edwards (CEO Lanthwaite Aviation Ltd), Robert Reynolds & Paul Deakin (The Mavericks, Nashville, USA), Nikki & Martin Bailie (Glue Isobar), Christos Katsivelis (Withers LLP), Terence Faulkner (CEO Leathams Ltd), Jonathan Paine (NM Rothschild), Stephen Wiener (CEO Cineworld Cinema’s), Helen & Richard Gillingwater CBE, Peggy & Herschel Post MBE, Elizabeth & Charlie Mayfield (Chairman John Lewis Partnership), Lissie & Richard Todd QC, Terry Gilliam, James Robson (MD Mews of Mayfair Restaurant), John Kearon (Founder, CEO of BrainJuicer Group Plc), Emma & Peter Young (MD Burnbank Systems Ltd), Charly & Vanessa Classen (ESPN Vice President), Maurice & Danielle Salem, Supraj Rajagopalan MD (Partner Cinven Ltd), Pascal Huser (Director) Design & Build Ltd, Stephen Coates CEO aCTa architects, Hugh Padgham (Record Producer) & Cath Kidston MBE. Bruce & Jane Duckworth (co-founder Turner Duckworth Design Agency).
Louise Bradley Interior Designs, Mcgraw Hill, Jane Houghton Interior Designs, Parker Harris Partnership, Katharine Pooley Home Interiors, Lucy Ford Goose Design Interiors, Tanja Gertik Fine Art Consultant.
Tel: 020 8940 8459