Dedication to Rowland Hilder

Posted: 26/09/2019 in art holidays in Bulgaria, Uncategorized, Watercolor
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The late Rowland Hilder

This is my personal dedication to Rowland Hilder, and how he was to influence my own paintings (and my life)…..

During the days before the internet, I used to come home with arms full of watercolour art books, from the local library.  These included ones by Rowland Hilder, Ashley Jackson, John Blockley and Ron Ranson. All of who’s work I admired and wanted to emulate. Rowland’s hard backed books were a standard, and very welcome Christmas present. I still have those books and still refer to them to this day.

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Roll on a few years and I decided to Exhibit for the very first time. I had put together some early works and had them framed to exhibit at The Winter Gardens in Ilkley near to my home. I think it was an event organised by The International Watercolour Society. If my failing memory serves me I think Rowland was a Secretary of that organisation.

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As I was setting up, there was a scurry of activity in one very prominent part of the hall. To my amazement I was stood next to a full  sheet original by the great man himself.

I was in awe of the painting and don’t recall the actual painting itself, but it would probably have been a typical ‘Hilder Kentish scene’ . It  was the sheer scale and magnificence of the painting. His handling of the medium a masterclass in itself.

When I looked at my own work hanging in the same space, it was clear that I still had plenty of work to do. Incidentally I never sold one piece of art during that exhibition. It was a very sobering experience at that time. But I vowed to improve and carry on regardless.



His moody atmospheric handling of the skies in particular was something I admired greatly.

Over the years I had painted the scenes from his books many times. These were never for sale, I just wanted to experience the painting process Rowland had gone through to get to the finished paintings.

The reason for this post all those years later, is that one of my Russian students to my regular Art Club, here in Sozopol, Bulgaria, had picked up the book. And asked to paint one of his scenes in the near future.

White Boat Studio Sign - Single


That burning ambition to become an artist came to fruition many years later, when following a family tragedy, I decided to sell up, take early semi-retirement, and move to Bulgaria permanently. Over the last 10 years I even wrote an e-book on the subject of watercolour painting and also stumbled upon teaching and running Art Holidays here and a regular Art Club.

Copy of Final E-Book Cover Design

My unusual route into teaching was featured in a UK art magazine in recent months, and you can read about that journey on another blog of mine on here.

Paint Magazine November 2017

Through these Workshops my teaching has been very good for me taking me around the World, particularly Asia and Europe.

Copy (2) of Picture 1940

All of this made possible in part due to the influence of The late great man Rowland Hilder.

I hope you enjoy this short blog.

Happy Painting !


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