Chinnor & District

Fred Yates 1922 - 2008

ART HISTORY GROUP APRIL MEETING - Ray Barnett gave us a fascinating insight into the life of this artist.

This enigmatic artist’s life was heavily shaped by a difficult childhood together with the loss of his twin brother at Arnhem. He shunned close relationships for the rest of his life.

His early painting style was very much in the style of Lowry. He was indeed often referred to as ‘The Happy Lowry’ whom he much admired. He met him in the 1960’s at a dinner following a competition that Lowry won and in which Fred came second.

He trained as an art teacher in Bournemouth after which he taught in various colleges and schools, a period he later referred to as his ‘twenty years of hell’.

In 1968 he left teaching and moved to Fowey in Cornwall. He did odd jobs to pay his bills but spent almost all his time painting, mainly outdoors, selling as he painted at prices of between £15 to £25. He also attended local art/craft weeks where he painted all day often selling on the spot. Most of the paintings of this period were done using a finger and palette knife technique. However, he did also produce pastel & water colours of great detail.

In the 1980’s he moved to France and fulfilled his dream, painting all day. He returned to England in 2008 to retire and attend the opening of his exhibition in London, following which he died on his way home.