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 Roy Fairchild-Woodard  (1953 - )

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Lived/Active: United Kingdom/England      Known for: female nudes, floral design painting, serigraphy, etching

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from Auction House Records.
"Bright Colors"
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Biography from Doubletake Gallery:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Roy Fairchild - Woodard was born in 1953 in Surrey, England. He lives and works most of the year in his country home. This peaceful environment is fundamental to his well being and stability as an artist, although he travels throughout Europe to obtain new sources of inspiration. He is particularly influenced by the painters of the Renaissance, and he visits Italy in particular to study frescoes, tapestries and paintings and to see for himself the techniques with which they were executed.

Fairchild left school at sixteen to train as a technical illustrator. Graphic design was his main degree qualification.  He found technical drawing interesting because it is so exact-you can't argue with it.  In this way, his first exposure was to an art that was highly disciplined, and this has proved invaluable throughout his career. His first employment was in advertising, producing photo realistic airbrush illustrations.  He then went on to work for the Sackville Press, publishers and producers of educational books and diagrams.  Fairchild was involved in producing technical illustrations, again highly disciplined and working to deadlines.

In 1980, he made the break from graphics and became a freelance painter.  Fairchild was in a sense released and could paint in the way he wanted. His prints too, reveal this same sense of freedom and optimism.  There is a sensuousness about them that evokes a feeling of timelessness and tranquility.  Every available surface is filled with color and pattern-they are as colorful as Persian Illuminations, always brilliant, never harsh. Fairchild's aim is to draw with Japanese freedom, to produce images that are shrouded in duplicity and mystery.  He loves to break the color up, reveling in the secrecy of it.

In recent years, Fairchild has devoted more of his time to printmaking. The process of printmaking is complicated and protracted. Fairchild starts by making working drawings and then produces a highly finished color study on unsized Spanish cotton rag papers.  Washes are first applied, which are absorbed deeply within the fabric of the paper.  The image is then progressively built up using stronger and stronger colors until finally the sumptuous reds and glistening golds are applied to the surface.  By now, most of the compositional problems will have been resolved and it is time to make the print..

The same process is repeated, but this time individual silk-screens are made for each of the washes and each of the colors that go to make up the image.  These screens are handmade and the image they bear, and the colors they take, can all be modified throughout the proofing process until perfect compositional and color balances are achieved.  Photographic processes are not involved.  The aim is not to reproduce the study exactly, but to establish a print, which has a life and integrity of its own.

During printing, which may involve the application of 40 or 50 screens, the image begins to emerge, color by color, first the background base colors and washes, and finally the stronger decorative surface details. At all stages, the artist is free to rework the screens, change each color, until he has a single perfect print. The process is then reproduced up to 350 times until the limited edition is complete. The screens are then destroyed.

Biography from GallArt.com:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Roy Fairchild-Woodard, British (1953 - )

Roy Fairchild - Woodard was born in 1953 in Surrey, England. He lives and works most of the year in his country home. This peaceful environment is fundamental to his well being and stability as an artist, although he travels throughout Europe to obtain new sources of inspiration. He is particularly influenced by the painters of the Renaissance and he visits Italy in particular to study frescoes, tapestries and paintings and to see for himself the techniques with which they were executed.

His vision is coloured by his immersion in this past. His surfaces are rich and sumptuous and he uses varied interwoven elements such as fabrics and flowers in his work. The crumbling plasterwork of ancient frescos are also alluded to in his use of plaster as base for acrylic and oil over-painting.

His admiration for Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimpt can be seen in occasional references of line and decoration but he has extended their techniques to produce something altogether bolder and contemporary.

After leaving school at sixteen to train as a technical illustrator, he then took a degree in graphic design. Having completed his education he set up his own studio. He soon found it was difficult to make a living from his own work and supported himself and his family for several years by producing, under the name of Woodard, illustrations for record sleeves, advertisements and books, as well as decorative serigraphs and lithographs.

He achieved considerable popularity with his suites of pastel coloured figurative prints.

Experimenting with different techniques, he developed entirely new methods of achieving effects in serigraphy to obtain qualities of light and colour that are now in general use.

He eventually gained sufficient financial security to be able to give up his commercial illustrations and return full time to his own painting and printmaking, which he does under his family name, Fairchild.

As a printmaker, he has found most favour with serigraphy, where the rich, opaque colours of his work, are furthered by the medium, although the figure drawings he still prefers to translate into etchings.

For the past few years he has been giving classes to teach his skills and techniques to young artists.

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