In celebration of the artist's 80th year, New Craftsman presents an exhibition of work by Colin Orchard, a member of the Royal Society of British Artists and one of Cornwall's most respected painters.
Born in 1935, Orchard had no formal art training and began his career in the art department of The Times newspaper, initially as a messenger and later as a typographer and layout artist. From 1963 to 1973 he was Art Director for Letraset International, then freelanced as a graphic designer until 1983 when he moved to St Ives and became a full time painter.
This new collection of oil on board works takes the artist back to some of his favourite subjects, including landscapes of Cornwall, and of his travels to Suffolk, Venice and Tuscany, alongside a series of Orchard's distinctive 'non' portraits of fictional subjects in fictional interiors, inspired in this instance by women artist friends. Exuding an air of late 19th Century painting in both form and palette, Orchard's subjects are in fact highly contemporary, and the paradox of turn of the century style and 21st century subject give his paintings a uniquely appealing quality. Drawn from both observation and snatches of remembered scenes his powerfully composed, square format paintings are predominantly figurative, but also embrace areas of deliberate abstraction and strong, unmoderated brush marks.
Colin Orchard has exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions and galleries including David Messum, Medici, Walker Galleries, Ainscough and New Grafton. He was elected a member of the RBA in 2007 upon winning the Artist Award at their exhibition that same year.