Robert Littleford - 'Nighttime from Saddleworth Moor'

Artist Name:

Robert Littleford

Years:

1940-

Nationality:

English

Painting Name:

Nighttime from Saddleworth Moor

Current Location:

Available for sale but currently not on display

Signed upper left

Mixed media

41cm x 32cm

Price:

£ 1,225.00

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Available for sale from Big Sky Fine Art; this original mixed media artwork by Robert Littleford; dating from around 1980.
The work is presented and supplied in a sympathetic contemporary frame, mounted using conservation materials and behind non-reflective glass.

Robert Littleford is a contemporary British artist of humble origins whose work captures the joy and tenderness of life’s simple pleasures.

He was born in Oldham in 1940, to parents who were both poorly paid cotton workers. After leaving school he worked as a labourer, and at the age of 21 met his future wife, Hilary. She was working as a sewing machinist, living on a farm with her father. The couple married six months later, and settled in the local village. It was Hilary who encouraged Bob to pursue his passion to paint and with her support he gave up his job as a refuse collector and became a full time artist.

Bob was thus self-taught and the style he developed was very much his own. His delicate and tender paintings capture scenes of family life, days at the seaside and children playing; unexceptional yet very special times. His paintings are executed with a lightness of touch and brilliant use of light and shade.

With the unstinting support of his wife, Bob achieved great success, attracting the attention of art critics and national television. His early followers included the artist Helen Bradley, and the jazz musician and broadcaster Humphrey Lyttleton. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Member of the British Watercolour Society. He has exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1973, the British Watercolour Society, Salford Municipal Art Gallery and other many provincial galleries throughout the UK.

In the 1990s Bob suffered ill health and had to have a kidney removed. Hilary, now a mother of three, worked part time to support them. Slowly, Bob recovered and began to paint again until he was painting full time once more. His beloved wife died in 2007, and two years later, having battled with subsequent depression, Bob put on a major exhibition in Salford, which he dedicated to her.

As an artist Robert Littleford is not protesting, not trying to convey a deep social meaning – he is usually presenting something beautiful, a little nostalgic and a little fun.

This original mixed media piece depicts Saddleworth Moor in the South Pennines, North West England, at night-time. From our high vantage point we see moor is in the foreground, bleak and expansive. There is a single dwelling, with lights on inside and smoke coming from the chimney. It must be cosy in there, in contrast to the cold night air all around. In the middle ground, we see the lights of Oldham, street lights weaving a tapestry of lines in the dark. In the distance, we glimpse the great city of Manchester, a haze of tiny coloured lights, spreading for miles. This picture has a wonderful sense of perspective. On the horizon there is a hint of salmon pink, the remnants of a sunset. The night sky above is ink and dark blue, with a pale moon peeping from a high cloud. The mix of blues, greens and subtle greys make for a stylish and mellow image.

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