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 Colin Verity  (1934 - 2011)

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Lived/Active: England      Known for: maritime scene painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Following is the obituary of the artist, published in The Telegraph, London, July 19, 2011:

Colin Verity, who died on June 24 aged 87, was an artist whose evocative paintings of maritime scenes are held in public and private collections around the world.

Verity preferred to paint ships of the steam era, ships with “character” rather than what he described as the “ungainly contraptions” of more recent decades. He particularly enjoyed the elegant lines of 1920s and 1930s steam trawlers, though he also painted numerous ocean liners (including Titanic), many on commission for shipping companies throughout the world, as well as waterfront and dock basin scenes.

His work was exhibited in 17 countries, including Canada and the United States, where he won two international maritime art awards for oil painting and one for watercolour. His clients included the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, Lloyds of London, the Sultans of Brunei and Oman (for whom he had been working on a series of paintings depicting historic sailing craft before his death), the Duke of Gloucester and John Betjeman.

Colin Verity was born at Darwen, Lancashire, on March 7 1924 and educated at Malet Lambert School, Hull, where an art teacher recognized his talent, gave him a drawing pad and told him to sketch what he saw at the local docks.

His ability to reproduce maritime scenes in accurate perspective and proportion drew him towards architecture and, after leaving school, he studied at the School of Architecture at Hull University.

After wartime service in the RAF, latterly flying Spitfires, Verity joined the architects’ department at Hull City Council, where he rose to the position of principal architect and, in 1974 following local government re-organisation, transferred to an equivalent position at Humberside County Council.

As well as painting maritime scenes, Verity enjoyed building and flying large radio-controlled model aircraft and was a railway enthusiast. At the house where he once lived in Meaux, Yorkshire, he had a large train set in his studio, with model engines snaking around his easel, palettes and brushes.

Verity was a life member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists, a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, a member of the Fylingdales Group of Artists and president of Hornsea Art Society. In 2003 a major retrospective of his work, entitled “A Glance Astern”, was held at Hull Maritime Museum.

Colin Verity’s first wife, Stella Smale, predeceased him, and in 2003 he married the artist Sonya Raven-Ainley, who survives him with a son and three daughters of his first marriage.


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