Exploring the Artistic Legacy of Ronald Maddox

Exploring the Artistic Legacy of Ronald Maddox

A Journey Through British Landscapes

From the fishing village of Polperro in Cornwall to the mountainous landscapes of Wales and Cumbria, Sworders are pleased to be offering a diverse selection of watercolour paintings by the artist Ronald Maddox for sale in our forthcoming Paint.Print.Sculpt auction.

9 February 2024

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Born in Surrey, Ronald Maddox's artistic journey began at the St Albans School of Arts and later took him to the Hertfordshire School of Art & Design, Regent Street Polytechnic School of Art, and the London School of Printmaking and Graphic Art.

Starting his career as an art director for advertising agencies in London, he went on to forge a successful career as a freelance artist, illustrator, and designer working for eminent British companies including British Rail, the Countryside Commission, British Waterways, British Gas, British Telecom and Channel Four. Between 1972 and 1989 he worked for the Post Office and Royal Mail, designing stamps, first-day presentation packs and posters which often featured British architecture, rural life, and the countryside.

 

Ronald Maddox PPRI RWS RBA (1930-2018) 'Landforms, Abbotsbury' signed 'Ronald Maddox' l.r., with artist's studio stamp affixed verso, watercolour 28 x 49cm (£300-400)

Ronald Maddox PPRI RWS RBA (1930-2018) 'Landforms, Abbotsbury' signed 'Ronald Maddox' l.r., with artist's studio stamp affixed verso, watercolour 28 x 49cm (£300-400)

 

In 1974, Maddox created a series of detailed line drawings of iconic London landmarks including the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and the Royal Naval College, which are now part of the prestigious Tate collection.

In contrast to Maddox's precise graphic design work and illustrative architectural studies, his landscape paintings are marked by spontaneity and fluidity.

Fascinated with the geology and form of British landscapes, Maddox’s process involved creating quick pencil sketches and small spontaneous watercolour paintings on location. Rather than seeking to create a photographic representation of what was before him, he immersed himself in the natural environment, working quickly to capture the essence of the places that he visited. He would then enlarge and develop his studies back at his studio in Digswell, Hertfordshire.

 

Ronald Maddox PPRI RWS RBA (1930-2018) Cornish fishing village, Polperro signed 'Ronald Maddox' l.r., watercolour over pencil with pen and ink 34 x 45cm (£300-400)

Ronald Maddox PPRI RWS RBA (1930-2018) Cornish fishing village, Polperro signed 'Ronald Maddox' l.r., watercolour over pencil with pen and ink 34 x 45cm (£300-400)

 

Influenced by Modern British and Great Bardfield artists including John Nash, Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, John Piper and Graham Sutherland, Maddox’s distinctive landscapes are recognisable by their stylised pattern and forms. By building up washes of colour Maddox creates strong tonal contrasts, creating layers of depth that explore the geological formation and richly contrasting landscapes of Britain in vivid colour and vibrant hues. Some of the works offered for sale are executed solely with sweeping brushstrokes, while others incorporate wax resists with finer details worked into with pen and ink. While the works offered for sale depict a diverse array of landscapes, media and techniques, they share a distinctive aesthetic that encapsulates a sense of dynamism and energy.

From fine art to commercial design, Maddox’s extensive portfolio of work further underscores his versatility as an artist.

 

Ronald Maddox PPRI RWS RBA (1930-2018) St Govan's Head and chapel signed 'Ronald Maddox' l.r. with artist's stamp verso, watercolour over pencil 44 x 57cm, unframed (£250-350)

Ronald Maddox PPRI RWS RBA (1930-2018) St Govan's Head and chapel signed 'Ronald Maddox' l.r. with artist's stamp verso, watercolour over pencil 44 x 57cm, unframed (£250-350)

 

Ronald was an Honorary Member of the Royal Watercolour Society, the Royal Society of British Artists and the Pastel Society and work has featured many in prestigious exhibitions across the UK, including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions, the Royal Society of Marine Artists, The New English Art Club, and the Royal West of England Academy. His watercolour painting ‘Brick House, Great Bardfield’ (former home of Ravilious and Bawden) is held in the collection of the Fry Art gallery. Maddox's works have also found their way into esteemed private collections including HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and major institutions like Barclays Banks and the BBC. He gained numerous awards, including the 'Rowland Hilder Award for the Most Outstanding Landscape’ in 1990 highlighting his exceptional talent in landscape and watercolour painting.

 


 

Friday 9 February - Sunday 18 February

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