This month we talk to contemporary British painter and long-standing Hurtwood friend, Humphrey Ocean RA. For over fifty years Humphrey Ocean has continued to delight and surprise the art world with his paintings, prints and sculptures that depict the simplicity of life with British charm. Working closely with Humphrey, we were proud to produce his first artist’s monograph.
The discovery of Edward Hopper, who I thought might be a teenage fling, but he gets better and better.
By the way, this is not a career. I can’t do anything else, I’m pathologically unemployable, art is all I can do so there was no choice in the matter. But the very first artwork I can remember is the Van Gogh self-portrait in the John Hay Whitney Collection exhibition 1960-1 at the Tate Gallery. The face surrounded by a radiating lapis blue said “Come on in the water’s fine” to this nine-year-old.
‘Camille Pissarro: Lordship Lane Station’, 1871 (in the Courtauld Gallery). I have not chosen it because my house is behind the chimneys on the left of the railway line, which it is. I love that a whole quarter of the painting in the bottom right-hand corner is a newly created fenced-in piece of non-territory, a railway embankment, and is pure JG Ballard. Pissarro in his deadpan way is recording the modern world and its future. This is the painting that invented suburbia.
Words: Humphrey Ocean RA
View Humphrey Ocean, the artist’s first monograph