Stornoway RNLI Art Sale

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Stornoway RNLI has been gifted a total of 25 stunning drawings and paintings completed by artist Richard Walker (1925-2009), to be sold to raise funds for the local lifeboat station.

And all are invited to view and purchase the works at the Art Sale, due to take place in the Morning Room at Lews Castle on Friday, June 23rd, from 7.30pm.

Admission is free and prices range from £20 to £80, so there’s something for everyone.

Born in Surrey, Walker’s artistic skills were first recognised when he was 13 years old and won the Founders’ Prize of the Royal Drawing Society. He then went onto have a picture hung in the Royal Academy and secured an art scholarship to Cranford School.

After a spell at Queen’s College, Oxford, and service with the RAF, Walker trained at the Croydon School of Art, then at London University and the Slade School.

He worked as a professional artist throughout his career, hosting many successful one-man shows, and many of his works hang in private and public collections.

A member of the United Society of Artist, The Society of Graphic Fine Art, and the Armed Forces Art Society, Walker was a frequent exhibitor at the major London art societies’ exhibitions; and his portraits and landscapes now hang as far away as the Kjarval Museum in Reykjavick, Iceland.

Working in all mediums, Walker studied lithography as a specialist subject, and from the outset was interested in portrait painting, which he taught in his own studio in Croydon.

Some of his portraits include the composer Herbert Howells (for the Royal College of Music), conductor Vernon Handley, and the atomic physicist Sir William Penney.

The donated works – which range from simple pencil studies to larger paintings and watercolours – were delivered to Stornoway RNLI by Walker’s friend Richard Halsey following the artist’s death, and depict scenes and places around the Lewis and Harris.

Speaking of his friend’s love of the Western Isles, Richard Halsey said: “Richard [Walker] developed a special love of Lewis and Harris, which he visited first in the 1960s and regularly from that time.

“Richard found inspiration in the hugely varied island landscape: the rugged coastlines, the rock formations, the colours of the wide open vistas, dilapidated buildings and subtle groupings of sheep.”

He added: “My own first visit to the islands was with Richard in 1978, when the village of Garenin, quite recently abandoned, was a melancholy sight, with an uncertain future. His pictures of old Garenin are in marked contrast to the scene which the restored village presents to the visitor today.”