Canary
By Richard Spare

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Year
1999
Media
Printmaking
Subject Matter
Animals
Reg. Number
G1678
Size
57 x 59 cm

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Thank you to artist Richard Spare for very generously gifting this artwork to the Art in Healthcare Collection.

Richard studied painting at Maidstone College of Art (1971-74). He has continued to produce his own work ever since and has become intensely involved in printmaking.

A Master printer, Richard has editioned work for many contemporary artists, including David Hockney, Robert Ryman, Francesco Clemente, Donald Sultan and Keith Haring. In 1977 he worked with David Hockney as his assistant, setting up an etching studio for him. It was an interesting time as Richard was able to watch Hockney at work on his sets for the Glyndebourne ‘Magic Flute’. In 1988 Richard spent several months in New York working with Jasper Johns, proofing and editioning complex carborundum prints.

Today, Richard concentrates solely on his own work, which derives from nature and travel. The garden he has designed at his studio in Charlton is a rich source of inspiration. Filled with hollyhocks, foxgloves, poppies and wisteria, it is a small haven for wildlife and has been a starting point for many of his prints.

‘I always draw directly onto the plate from my chosen subject. By a process of elimination, over the years, I’ve tried to express the essence of what I see. My images thus have a characteristic ‘pared-down’ quality.
I love working straight onto the copper - this is my work - the act of drawing on the resistant copper dictates the way I draw, and the way the image turns out. I am not transposing from another medium, so each print is an original interpretation, individually printed by hand, and hand painted. Each print is thus slightly different. I enjoy the rich velvet blacks of the drypoint line against the pure pigment of the watercolour. I find the vibrancy of the pigment against the strength of the black a beautiful combination.’

Exhibited in the 2000 Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, London.

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