English ( b.1940 )
|Image size||9 inches x 13.8 inches ( 23cm x 35cm )|
|Frame size||16.5 inches x 21 inches ( 42cm x 53.5cm )|
Available for sale from Big Sky Fine Art; this original pastel 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 a night scene over the town of Oldham, with the parish Church silhouetted against the sky in the foreground. Beyond the church the lights of Oldham shine out in an affray of colours, dimmed by a low mist. Two large hills rise up beyond the conurbation, breaking through the mist. In the far distance we glimpse the lights of the city of Manchester. There is low grey cloud, but above this the sky is a clear vibrant blue. Tiny stars twinkle, reflecting the man- made lights below.
Oldham in Lancashire became an international centre of textile manufacturing in the 19th century. It was one of the first industrialised towns and at its zenith Oldham produced more cotton than the whole of France and Germany combined!