Monday, 19 December 2011

A Unique Gift

We are delighted to announce the launch of pen and ink or pen and ink and wash drawings of churches, which make ideal, unique gifts to celebrate weddings or christenings or just as a gift for someone precious to remember their own parish church.  For full details and prices look on our website - click on the tab 'Unique Gift'. 

St Hilary Church, St Hilary, Cornwall

St Mary's, Walsham le Willows, Suffolk

St Bartholomew's, Leigh, Surrey

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Annual Wine Tasting in aid of St. Nicholas Hospice

On Sunday 6th November, Roger was invited to join Shami Gill, the proprietor of Wattisfield Wines, Walsham le Willows, at his annual charity fundraising event at Haughley Park Barn, Stowmarket.
Over 70 wines from all over the world were set out at seven tables for people to taste, a light lunch was served and Roger's paintings were displayed on a lit show stand and they created a great deal of interest, as it was the first time in the 10 years' history of the wine tasting event that there was an added attraction for people to enjoy. 
At 2.00 pm a portrait, that Roger had painted of Shami Gill, was unveiled to enthusiastic applause.  People commented that Shami was wearing the same clothes that he had worn for the photographs, from which the painting was created and that Roger had captured the unique way in which Shami holds a wine glass. 

Left to right:  Shami Gill, Roger Harvey and the portrait of Shami

Roger explained, to a number of people who asked, that, he prefers to take a large number of photographs of a subject as they reveal mannerisms that are peculiar to that person.  As a result, you not only capture the likeness but you capture that something special, which Roger calls 'their action print'.  This can be seen in many of the paintings of sporting personalities that are displayed on Roger's website - look at the 'Memories' tab.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Roger Was Invited To Sit On The Sofa By Lesley Dolphin

Lesley Dolphin, presenter of the popular programme "All About Suffolk", which is on BBC Radio Suffolk on weekday afternoons, invited me to be her guest on the sofa on Friday 28th October, to talk about my life and particularly my return to painting and where photography fitted into my life story.  Leslie, a very experienced presenter, quickly put me at ease and wanted to start at the very beginning, from my early memories of Coventry in the blitz, through art college, service life in the RAF, the early paintings of sporting personalities - see them at and how the use of the camera was a tool in the production of the paintings.  Lesley was fascinated by the fact that, by doing a lot of photographs of a sporting personality, an 'action print', as I call it, emerges that reinforces the likeness.  As an example, George Best, when running with the ball, tucked his thumbs into his clenched fists.  This attention to detail always made the sporting paintings that little bit special and is also applicable, when painting traditional portraits.  People today are so busy that they don't have time to sit for a portrait and therefore I photograph a subject and build up the portrait from the photographs  just as the old masters did with camera obscura.

She then wanted to know why we had moved to Suffolk and why I was now painting primarily Suffolk landscapes and seascapes and she loved the paintings and the big Suffolk skies.

We had such fun that the forty-five minute interview flew by - at one point, Lesley nearly missed the break for the news!  She gave me the opportunity to promote my work and my exhibitions and she mentioned the new website several times and suggested that people should have a look, which has really helped the ratings.  Watch this space as I am being invited to do another session in the New Year.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Renaissance - a New Beginning

Now happily settled into retirement and our new life in Walsham le Willows, Suffolk, I was persuaded to start painting again, after a gap of over 30 years, having concentrated on our photographic business during that period of time.  As a prompt our elder daughter and son-in-law queued to get Ian Botham to sign a copy of his latest book "Botham's Book of the Ashes" and, because I had painted him twice in the 1970's, when I was painting sporting personalities in action, he asked our daughter how I was and if I was still painting, to which she said, "We are trying to get him started again."  So,  Sir Ian wrote in the book, "To Roger Long time no paint!  Ian".  That was sufficient to motivate me.

I decided to paint Suffolk landscapes in a much freer style than I had used previously.  The beautiful Suffolk countryside and seascapes are a true inspiration;  the huge skies are magnificent and the light is amazing.  As I used to say, when I was lecturing in photography, "Photographers paint with light;  artists paint with colour."

I eased back into painting with landscapes, which was like a breath of fresh air but, as always, clients want different things and I have recently completed two portrait commissions and have two commissions - one a seascape measuring 54" x 24" and the other a favourite location for a Christmas gift.

After a few months, we quickly ran out of wall space and decided to launch the new art website  Have a look.  Our friend and neighbour, Andrew Clark, has made a wonderful job of creating the site and we are receiving lovely comments.  We are now enjoying watching this art site climb up the ratings.
First Exhibition in 32 Years

I was invited to exhibit my paintings by Andy Hartwell of The Hartwell Blind Company Limited at their beautiful showroom at 79 Northgate Street in Bury St Edmunds.  There was a private viewing for invited guests on Friday 21st October in the evening with wine sponsored by Shami Gill of Wattisfield Wines, Walsham le Willows.  The paintings were warmly received, which was very encouraging and my most recent portrait commission was shown with the subject in attendance so that everyone could appreciate the likeness. 

The following day the Bury Free Press sent along a reporter and photographer and a very complimentary and detailed report with photograph appeared in the next edition of the newspaper.  The exhibition was very successful and resulted in a lots of interest, purchases and two commissions.