Original 1995 pencil drawing by famous artist Cecil Riley.
Cecil Riley Original drawing of a Christmas scene for Christmas cards. 2nd of a pair
Cecil Riley drawing was created in The Studio of Cecil Riley (1917-2015), Cecil Riley was born in Tadcaster in 1917. His father was a bank manager and his mother was an amateur artist, who specialised in flower studies, still life and decorated pottery. His mother died in childbirth and from the age of 2 years he was brought up by his Aunt and at the age of 10 years his father committed suicide. At the age of 14 years his Aunt died leaving Cecil to live alone.First of all,his early schooling developed his interest in art and acting and the production of school plays. In 1936 he won a place at the Slade School of Fine Art which he attended for 3 years gaining his diploma in 1935.
Slade Society with Cecil as its first President
He was popular with other students and formed the Slade Society with Cecil as its first President. After Slade, he settled in the South of France but unfortunately war broke out and returned home. Because of his strong Christian faith he became a conscientious objector and took up duties with the Air Raid Precautions Anti Gas Squad in Oxford, where he again attended the Slade which have moved from London to the Ashmolean Museum. While attending here, he met Joan, his wife to be, having spotted her as a stunning beauty sitting astride a donkey easel in the life drawing class. During this time, Cecil taught as an Art Master at Warwick School before moving to Richmond when the war ended. With the responsibility of a family, Cecil returned to teaching, a career he continued for many years principally at Raynes Park Grammar School for Boys (Wimbledon) from 1948.
Throughout his teaching career, Cecil continued with his own work exhibiting widely. He also travelled with his wife Joan, extensively in Europe and after moving to Cornwall they both became active members of the Newlyn Society of Artists. Exhibitions. Leicester Galleries London; Leger Galleries London; New Burlington Gallery London; Arthur Jefferies Gallery London, Royal Academy London; Richmond Hill Gallery London.
Furthermore Penwith Gallery St Ives Cornwall; Newlyn Society of Artists Newlyn Cornwall; Mid-Cornwall Gallery Cornwall; New Craftsman Gallery St Ives Cornwall; Cornish Crafts Association Cornwall; Work represented: Manchester City Art Gallery; C.C.A. Galleries Bath; Thursday Gallery Bath; Portal Gallery London; Odette Gilbert Gallery Cork Street London; Truro Cathedral Cornwall; Falmouth Art Gallery Cornwall; Plymouth Art Gallery; Beatrice Royal Gallery Eastleigh Hants; Out of the Blue Gallery Gloucestershire; Leon Suddaby Fine Arts St Ives Cornwall; Badcocks Newlyn Cornwall; Trelowarren Estate Gallery & Newlyn Orion Gallery Penzance Cornwall.
CECIL RILEY – PAINTING ART LIFE ETC PHILOSOPHY
To thine own self be true. Peace Love and Joy INFLUENCES and INSPIRATION – • Early years, English watercolour painters, Impressionism • The Surrealists, after the 1936 Surrealist exhibition at the New Burlington Galleries where he saw Dali Ernst etc. the freedom that imagination and fantasy permits • Picasso especially his Guernica studies, powerful expressive qualities • Indian art via contact with Indian friends at school, art school and the ‘Indian Summer School’ held at New College Oxford.
A love of Indian miniatures for their intricate patterns, rich detail, colour and stylisation of forms. • Abstraction, Mondrian etc • Inspiration from trips abroad to France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey. Byzantine and Medieval art and the story telling content of such works and their richness of colour • Stories from the Bible and other sources • The theatre and set/stage design subject matter.
Early years, primarily landscape, local views • Plants and other natural forms such as rocks, insects shells etc. Surrealist compositions incorporating human figures, natural forms in abstracted interior, exterior settings . Abstract compositions. Varying degrees of abstraction derived from the visible world. Townscapes cityscapes and landscapes from places visited at home and abroad.
Religious subjects from the bible for example ‘the agony in the garden’,furthermore ‘the sermon on the mount’, ‘the annunciation’. A series of paintings based on the story of Noah’s ark. • Paintings inspired by poetry e.g. Edward Lear’s ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ etc. • Mature work, personal storytelling, reference to the spirituality of other cultures.
Finally a complex compositions using a combination of western and non-western perspective. Highly detailed with much use of pattern and stylised forms reminiscent of eastern art. Heightened colour. Calling on the early years experience of the theatre. • Across the bay series. Studies made of the changing weather, the light effects, the colour of the view from the studio window overlooking the sea at Marazion towards Penzance and beyond • The Macular Degeneration years. Eyesight deteriorating over some time until almost blind. Did not stop painting. Work became very bold with much use of heavy dark lines to carve out the compositions. Simple powerful expressive responses to the visual world. • Mandala explorations. Eyesight made seeing work in progress almost impossible. Examples of a huge drive to keep going, keep communicating through the work.