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Roland Collins A forgotten Artist Part Two

March 9, 2018

Welcome back to part 2 of my posts about artist / painter Roland Collins. I’d like to show you Roland’s coastal work and some of his paintings created during his yearly trips to France.

Working predominately in gouache on a format of 15 x 21 inches, his work records landscapes and cityscapes that have since disappeared. In 1964, Collins, and his wife Connie, purchased Ocean Cottage in Whitstable on the Kent coast. This was to provide an endless source of inspiration for him and arguably resulted in some of his finest work.

I feel there are definite strains of Ravilious in this painting above. Roland’s work sits comfortably among his other contemporaries Paul Nash and Edward Bawden but it’s only really been truly ‘discovered’ in the last ten years.

His forty years spent living and working in Fitzrovia, five years in the Cornish fishing town of Padstow  in the 1990’s and his and Connie’s many visits to Dieppe all feature predominately throughout his body of work.

Such beautiful colours and textures here.

Some stronger colours here.

Again, his depiction of the beach here just works so well.

He spent hours and hours just painting and sketching outdoors.

Obviously (as he owned a boat himself for a while), he had a real love for the shape and line of them. For the sea and coast, where he also chose to live for a few years.

Although the coast, London and its environs were a constant inspiration (he illustrated the Picturesque Guide to the Thames, 1949) he also began making painting trips to France. “You could say I first went to Dieppe in the early-1950s in search of Sickert,” Collins said. His palette seems much fresher and lighter, not so many grey English skies perhaps !

Some links back to his life in the advertising industry here spotting these French billboards and iconic businesses.

A couple of lovely soaring bridges.

Perhaps a touch of Raoul Dufy’s colour palette here.

Sadly Roland passed away in 2015 at the grand age of 97.

More images looking through the catalogue over at, The Portland GalleryBrowse and Derby or the Michael Parkin Fine Art Gallery .

Many thanks to The Guardian, Spitalfields Life, James Russell and the sites above for my introduction to another outstanding British artist, which I hope you’ve also enjoyed ?







6 Comments leave one →
  1. Melanie permalink
    March 9, 2018 9:53 am

    I like all of his work, thanks for bringing it to our attention. Wonder why he was “forgotten”, is that just time?

    • March 9, 2018 10:29 am

      Forgotten or perhaps more overlooked Mel. He was a reserved man who didn’t always put his work forward, I think a humble gent who shied away from the limelight. Great paintings tho with such joy and life eh! Lol

  2. Deirdre O'Sullivan from Australia permalink
    March 9, 2018 9:55 am

    Absolutely lovely – he reminds me just a little of John Minton, too. Clearly, they both had a deep love for the sea, and it shone through their work. I love Roland’s lighthouse painting best of all – the marks made by his brush as it scumbled over the paper, to create that glistening sheen on the water – brilliant!

    • March 9, 2018 10:26 am

      Thank you Deidre for your well considered comments. He does have a link to Minton for sure. His work certainly made me smile, so it’s always a pleasure to share that.

  3. March 14, 2018 10:40 pm

    Beautiful work. I believe I prefer his more brightly colored paintings, but all of his work is positively brilliant. I think his subdued work may have been a result of his ‘shyness’, I don’t know. Were the more colorful paintings done in his later years?

    • March 15, 2018 9:42 pm

      The French work was the last. I’m not certain of dates for the other paintings. Thanks for your thoughts Joy.

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