Roy Freer NEAC RI ROI passed away in March 2021.



Roy's studies began during the 1950s and early 60s at Birmingham College of Art. He completed his two-year National Service and then became a tutor of adults in various colleges and centres throughout the country. From the 1970s onwards it was possible for Roy to develop his career showing his work in galleries in London and other parts of the country. He received The RI Bronze Medal in 1986, was elected a member or the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 1989 and elected to the New English Art Club in 2000.


Method of Working

Roy’s approach to watercolours within or away from the studio had both a free and instant quality to its development and finish. By its very nature watercolours permited him an instant and direct drawing and painting of the subject working with washes of colour and active brushwork. Quite markedly, Roy aimed to capture a modification and simplification to reveal a discovered visual significance without the need to adopt an overt stylisation or graphic mode.


Artist Statement

Roy Freer's work showed a single-minded focus in using overlays of rich colour to depict still life, figure and landscape as a way of presenting a visual understanding of his subject. Working from a familiar selection of either studio based still life objects, or outdoor features he explored the tension held both within and between objects to a degree whereby they are held by the fulcrum of the painting. 


His later work was concerned with the interpretation of the subject as a visual experience rather than a physical factual response - not so much a case of losing the identity of the object so much as becoming more aware of the less tangible qualities within appearances. Objects are seen disguised and visually modified by light, shade, space and distance resulting in the fragmentation of colour and form.


He showed an engagement with the medium in the manner of his over-layering brush marks. The act as directional indications that underpin the main structure of his paintings and the whole is suffused with lighting that is depicted in strong shafts of colour across the canvas.


Biographical Details

2000 Elected a Member of the New English Art Club
1989 Elected a Member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours
1987 Elected a Member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters
1968 Art Teacher’s Certificate at Birmingham University
1956-58 Studied at Birmingham College of Art
1953-56 Studied at Bournville School of Art


Other Society Memberships

Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour

Royal Institute of Oil Painters



1997 The Stanley Grimm Prize, ROI
1997 Higher Certificate. Distinction - Life Drawing, De Montfort University
1986/97 The Cornelissen Prize, ROI
1995 The C. Roberson Prize, ROI
1994 The Llewellyn Alexander Award, RI
1992 The Catto Gallery Award, ROI
1986 The RI Bronze Medal



The New English (represented in, 2006) by Kenneth McConkey, ISBN 1903973988