|Rye Harbour, 1958|
If there's one word I would use to describe Collins' paintings, most of which combine gouache with pen and ink, it's 'jaunty'. Here is an artist who is enjoying himself thoroughly, seeking out interesting sights and scenes and painting them in a style that mixes carefree brushwork with detailed architectural drawing. Sometimes it seems as though a topographical drawing has collided with a colourful abstract painting, creating a highly individual picture that is strangely compelling.
|Newhaven Harbour, 1962|
It was as a result of the Piper show that Hepburn discovered Collins. As he told me, "A chance remark was made by Andrew Lambirth about Collins' work being in a similar romantic topographic tradition and I leapt at the opportunity to meet an artist still working in this genre. Once I saw the works in his studio it was obvious that this was an artist who deserved wider recognition and would be loved by our visitors."
Lambirth wrote an essay for the unpretentious and rather beautiful catalogue accompanying 'Found Landscapes', in which his enthusiasm for Collins and his work comes through strongly.
|Gunnersbury Park, 1990|
Fans of Ravilious and co. will recognise many of the scenes and subjects chosen by Collins. Rye Harbour features in one picture, Newhaven in another. There's a lovely painting of Beachy Head painted from within Belle Tout Lighthouse, which is a wonderful foil to Ravilious's painting of the same view. Whereas the earlier watercolour captures the lantern room in all its interwar glory, Collins shows the old lighthouse after being used as target practice by Canadian troops.
|Beachy Head from Belle Tout, 1958|
|The Old Neptune, Whitstable, 1986|
'Roland Collins: Found Landscapes' is at Mascall's Gallery, Paddock Wood until 30 June.
The accompanying catalogue is available from the gallery, price £10 plus p&p.
Paintings featured are all by Roland Collins and remain his copyright.