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FOWEY  ARTIST:

' DERRICK  Gordon  HUGHES'

1925-2003

(20th Century English Artist - Fl: 1950 - 1990)

Painter and Book Illustrator from Fowey, Cornwall

 

Derrick Hughes, Fowey Artist- Cornwall

British Artist Derrick Hughes

Photo taken at Constables Studio Fowey

 

* This is a genuine request for help in gathering information and partricularly images of the work of a Cornwall based artist, Derrick Hughes who lived asnd worked in Fowey, Cornwall.

Also seeking Biographical information on the life of a British landscape, portrait and animal artist Derrick Hughes, who worked

and lived in Fowey from the 70's on keen to see examples of his work.

 

CONTACT

 

   Derrick Hughes ~ the fine Cornish artist (Aka: 'D' ) lived and worked from his Georgian terraced house and artist's studio on the Esplanade in Fowey, Cornwall. It was from here that he also tutored and trained many other aspiring Cornish artists to paint in his style.

Simply put, very well indeed.


 If I am not mistaken, his studio was at number 8, the Esplanade, right next door to a newsagents and now a clothes shop. Or very near to it? But many years have passed since I knew Fowey artist Derick Hughes and visited him there. However I do remember that the the artist's studio was right across the road from an old bakery and that was fairly important to him with his work. But I'll come to that later...

Esplanade Fowey

 What the building did have was a central door between two large windows fronting the narrow roadway called the Esplanade. The right hand side being the main studio window with a big shelf. Both windows were covered in shabby old net curtain in front of which stood examples of Derrick Hughe's own paintings perched on the window cills. Carefully positioned gaps in the curtains giving the tourists a tantalising glipse of other pictures in oils standing unfinished on easels in his ramshackle studio, full of all sorts of collected paraphenalia, so typical of the man. Ecclectic he was.

 

 Derek Hughes was an avid auction goer, which is where I first met him, in Lostwithiel, having moved down to the county over 25 years ago.
He was a regular face attending Jeffreys Auction Rooms in Lostwithiel on a Wednesday for their 'General' sale and always keen to buy old pot boiler canvasses and paint sets, for next to nothing of course, as no one else had any interest in them. Frankly, anything arty he could 're-use' later was his.  From old wooden panels, broken boxes, dreadful amateur hour paintings which the ever present 'ring' of regular Jefferys art buyers would not have more than a glance at.

 Life long auctioneer Tom Lugg,  a lovely and knowlegeable man and a very young Ian Morris, then training under his wing as an auctioneer and now managing partner of Jeffrey's, must have known why Fowey artist Derrick Hughes was so keen to buy the stuff others were not ineterested in? Particularly Tom Lugg, who didn't miss a trick and to whom I am endebted for the encouragement he gave me at start of my own diverse career in the art world in authentication. 

But it wasn't until I got to know Derrick Hughes much better that I became a party as to why he was so keen to get hold of old amateur paintings and of any sort. The older and the more battered it seemed, the better for him!

 Now invited into Derek's inner sanctum, he and I we would spend many an hour chatting over cups of tea in his first floor flat window, watching the world go by on the Esplanade below, before a tour of the studio for a review of his latest 'range' of products.

 

   Derrick Hughes reminded me in many ways of  the gentle English art forger, Tom Keating. Not as big a man in stature,  quite slight, almost thin in fact, but equally as quiet as Keating. Mild mannered, intellegent and always very gentlemanly.  But Derek suffered from Parkinson's disease, which he tolerated and accepted but secretly knew that it would take away his active love for painting one day and which finally stopped him driving as his condition deteriorated.  The attendences of the man at Jeffreys in Lostwithiel gradually petered out, that is unless someone took him there. But there were plenty of us Jeffrey's auction goers who would look out for 'suitable' artists items to take round to him in Fowey.

 

 Do a 'Google' search on the talented artist Derrick Hughes today and there is nothing really bar this. And a little blurb I did on him applauding his creative alternative 'talent' and one mention of a few paintings still in the Old Police Sation gallery, the 'Constable Gallery' in Fowey, now seemingly not there. But there is no further record, biography or demonstration of his hand as an artist, which is sad and must be corrected.

Like any artist, he must have produced a thousand......

 

 

* So if you have knowledge, images, or own a Derrick Hughes painting of any variety, do please CONTACT me.

 

 

 

 

 

  Below: Here is Derrick Hughes - 2nd from the right with his friend 'Shella Digby' the Fowey based author.

Cornish Guardian Book Signing Fowey

Image Copyright  Cornish Guardian

 

 

CONTACT

 

Derrick Hughes, Septimus book cover  illustrations        Derrick Hughes, Septimus book cover  illustrations

My thanks for the use of these images with the permission of  the author, Sheila Digby.

 

  Fowey artist Derrick Hughes, illustrated two of  Sheilah Digby's children's books featuring her character, Septimus the Seagull. 

'Septimus comes to town' and 'Septimus to the rescue'

 

 

 

 Derrick Hughe's talent was obvious to all who knew him.

 Never truly recognised as an artist in his own right and given the acclaim or applause he deserved, just like like Tom Keating, he took great pride in creating copious amounts of 'art product'. Ranging from 18th century Naiive English school paintings designed to appear ove a stable door or a farm hous kitchen. Pot bellied pigs were afavourite, sheep, prize bulls and the like, each alluringly painted on old wooden panels and canvasses acquired from Jeffreys. Cleaned off with Cellulose thinners, and creatively worked in the correct style and for convincing effect, aged perfectly in the cooling ovens of the bakery opposite. The deal with its owner being that every now and then, he was gifted a rare 'Hughes' treasure.

Derrick Hughes

 Horses too were a favourite, effected in the style of Stubbs, Sartorious and others. Lots of 'aged' pictures were despatched up north to be sold in lesser auction houses sale rooms. Each arecently discovered treasure from lofts and attics, cellars and sheds, somewhere in darkest Cornwall.

Derrick Hughes

 

 But walk up the staircase to his apartment above the studio and suddenly the real treasures painted by Derrick Hughes appeared. Renoir, Boudin particularly and many a Manet. All the creative genius of Derrick Hughes, the very clever artist from Fowey.

 

Derrick Hughes

 

But where are those paintings now?

 

CONTACT

 

 

   

 

Works

Derelict Mill- Whitney Oxon. Derrick Hughes

 

Painted Plaster Stirrup Cups. Derrick Hughes
Chailey Mill - Sussex 1954-Derrick Hughes
Derelict Mill- Whitney Oxon 6 x 4" 1954 ( verso)
Painted Plaster Stirrup Cups. Derrick Hughes (Undated)
Chailey Mill - Sussex 1954. ^x4"
Derrick Hughes. Unsigned Oil

 

Derrick Hughes Unsigned oil
 

Derrick Hughes Faux English Primitive 'Shire horse' with Georgiasn mansion.

Painted for his daughter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The start of a Biography with considerable help and input from Derrick's daughter Pam who contacted me through this web page.

 

 

 

DERRICK Gordon HUGHES - 1925 – 2003

 

 

 

 

 Derrick Hughes (aka “D”) was born on 7th April 1925 in Guildford, Surrey, the middle son of three.

He attended Guildford Grammar School where it was noted that he had a talent for drawing but he never went on to an art school or college or had any formal training. He was completely self taught.
Deeply interested in the flora and fauna of the countryside he loved country sports such as fly fishing and shooting and indeed was a very accomplished in each, spending many hours fishing on the banks of the river Test and the chalk streams of the southern counties and Gloucestershire, always carrying with him a small sketch book and paint box to make sketches and notes of the trout he caught, where they were caught and what fly they were taken by..

Like Turner and Constable, the sketches he made of the surrounding countryside were often turned into paintings.

 

Derrick Hughes - Early self portrait: Pencil

Early self portrait: Derrick Hughes -Pencil

 

 

 In the early 1960’s, with Joan Maxwell, his first wife, daughter Pam and son David, both who turned out to be accomplished artists in their own right, he moved to Warwickshire with his work as a salesman for Rubrey Owen the engineers. Pam has fond memories of him standing before his easel that was set up in the dining room painting, with records playing on the gramophone in the background. He had an eclectic taste in music (as in most things) so it could be anything from Bill Hayley or Shirley Bassey to Puccini or Rachmaninoff.

 

 Derrick loved vintage and classic cars and was a fairly accomplished mechanic. Over the years he owned and restored several including MGTAs, TFs, TCs, an Austin 7 (which is alive and well and living in Essex) and a TR2.

 

 

 By the early 1970s he and Joan had now divorced and he had married for the second time to Brenda Jones. Leaving full time employment he set up a studio in Henley in Arden in Warwickshire, just off the High Street, now soleley supported by his wife.
From here he sold quite a few paintings and took commissions. He painted a lot of scenes of the local area and made several commissioned portrait

 Whilst working at this studio he was the subject of an ITV Midlands television programme called; “Stop The World I Want To Get Off” about people who had left the rat race to pursue a more esoteric lifestyle.
About this time they sold the cottage and bought a 72ft narrow boat called the Aries. A boat, turned project that he rebuilt and fitted out with the help of a friend. He was an accomplished engineer and carpenter. On the barge he incorporated a studio which allowed him to give up the one in Henley in Arden.

As well as building Aries the narrow boat, he also built a replica steam boat that he called Victoria. Derrick and Brenda did afternoon tea and evening supper trips up and down the Grand Union canal on her.

 Another TV appearance for Derrick Hughes was when part of Midland’s Nurse of the Year show was filmed on ‘Victoria’ with some of the contestants taking a trip along the canal with the programme’s host Jean Morton.

  From Warwickshire Derrick and Brenda moved to a tumbled down cottage on the top of Clee Hill in Shropshire and spent a couple of years renovating it, selling a few paintings and keeping sheep and chickens. It was the late 70’s when he moved down to Fowey.
His life here started at the Wheelhouse at the top of the Esplanade which they ran as a Bed and Breakfast for about 10 years. He painted in what spare time he had and when the B & B business was sold they moved to a terraced house a little further down the Esplanade and opened up an antique shop on the corner in Fore Street.

Some of his moire classic “reproduction” pictures found their way into the shop and auctions from here, as well as a few other artefacts believed to be old! It must have been around that time that he also had the double fronted studio on the Esplanade. His marriage to Brenda eventually ended and he moved into the flat above the antique shop before finally settling in the Old Police Station in North Street and using the road level rooms and staircase as Constables Studio.

The subjects he painted were extremely varied. There were many landscapes, mostly in oil, influenced by the style of John Constable. He did fabulous trees and skies.

 When living in the Midlands he did a painting of a highwayman sitting on his horse at the top of a cliff silhouetted against a gold and pink sunset, with his cloak billowing out behind him. He ended up re painting three altogether. Another was of steam boats in harbour, again with a sunset.
He painted portraits both of real subjects and imagined. He also painted in water colours in a detailed “old master” style, of gamekeepers with their guns and dogs. He loved to paint horses and cats and animals.

 Derrick’s painting style changed little until his later years when it became looser and more impressionistic, due in part to his eyesight failing and the Parkinson’s starting to become more of a problem. He seemed to cope with the disease very well on the whole, at least on the surface. It must have been very difficult and so frustrating for someone who was so used to creating things with his hands and being in control of his day to day life to find himself at the mercy of others.

Still unsung, Derrick Hughes is buried in Fowey church yard on the hill overlooking the sea.

 


 


David Freeman 2017 

 

This page:  Derrick Hughes; Cornwall Artist

 

 

                                    

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

Artist Attribution and Authentication Investigations and Research.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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POTTED  BY  DOULTON GLASSWEAR BY  Galle - Daum & Lalique
MILITARY MEDALS AND ORDERS
A FAKE LOWRY GEORGE TINWORTH - DOULTON POTTER GEORGIAN SILVER
GEORGE III - INDIAN PEACE MEDAL
FRANK MOSS BENNETT - ARTIST BATTLE FOR CHRYSLERS FARM HISTORY OF THE DOUGLAS MOTORCYCLE
AMERICAN INDIAN PEACE MEDALS
CORNELIUS KRIEGHOFF - CANADIAN SCHONFELDER VIOLINS HISTORICA SCHOLASTICA  PETRUS COMESTORE
AMERICAN CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL
GEORGES BARBIER - ART DECO STRADIVARIUS VIOLINS PETER POPPELMAN GERMAN SCULPTOR
WEXFORD CIVIL WAR MEDAL
TOULOUS LAUTREC - ARISTADE BRUANT CHARLOTTE BRONTE WALTER SCOTT - WAVERLEY NOVELS
JOHN WILKINSON TRADE TOKEN
LAWREN HARRIS - CANADIAN POLISH PRISONER OF WAR PENNY BLACK STAMP
DAYS MILLS BUTTER MEDAL
CONSTANCE MARKIEVICZ - IRISH ARTIST FREEMANART EATONS PUNKIN HEAD
THE CONSTABLE MAP
JFP    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Derrick Gordon Hughes

Derrick Hughes Fowey Artist | English painter illustratoir | Landscapes, Portraits, Animals Primitive English School

DERRICK HUGHES: Fowey Artist - Cornwall. 20th Century British Artist, painter, teacher and book illustrator. Seeking information. Biography

 

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