The Wapping Group of Artists - Est 1939
Roger Dellar

Roger Dellar RI, PS, ROI

I was born in St Albans in Hertfordshire in 1949 shortly after the war years with food rationing still in place.

I have painted all my life, with varying degrees of time to do it, always having had a facility to paint.

My first memorable inspiration was in the 1950s watching Portrait Painters at Butlins Holiday Camp doing quick portrait sketches of the people on holiday there …….. I was hooked.
Having left school at fifteen, I had to go to work and earn money.  I am therefore self taught, sort of University of Life, always changing, updating and each year feeling what’s next.
My artistic heroes change from time to time, my earliest I shudder to even mention.  John Singer Sargent is probably my greatest influence, going to American abstract impressionists Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning.  Modern day painters Howard Morgan and Wapping group member Trevor Chamberlain, amongst many others.

I joined the Wapping group in 1996, having been invited by Trevor to come along.  My recollection was that the venue was Greenhithe Dock, a rather modernised, daunting subject to paint.

I have always painted on site since painting in my thirties, it was a lot harder then than it is now, having never got the right kit together, and I now feel comfortable working in a well thought out transportable compact and practical way, a lot of which comes from discussing with other painters and swapping experiences.
Although I am a member of three National societies, ie The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, The Royal Institute of Oil Painters, and the Pastel society, it has been in recent years that Oils have been my main Plein air medium, although I have used Watercolour in the earlier years and also Pastels and Acrylics.

On the spot I tend to paint reasonably small, generally 8 x 10 to 12 x 16 inches, but have worked 20 x16 or larger if revisiting the location is possible.   
I warm to subjects that are more a challenge of colour, light and high activity than atmospheric distant remote vistas, the more difficult the more I enjoy.  Having been a keen observer of people in their environments this is a constant source of inspiration for me.

In tackling a painting on the spot my first objective is to work with an abstracted form, not allowing the drawing to take over and not documenting too soon.  Thinking of general shapes of tone and colour and working with the composition in mind.  Working from the general to the specific, not finalising anything until the composition feels right.  Specifics and detail come towards the end.  This is more the calligraphy stage.  I will have been working from middle tones to dark accents then the highlights, holding on to the middle tones for as long as I can. 

I believe that the paintings I produce today are merely a stepping stone on the way to becoming a better painter, and the work climbing to higher levels.

EXHIBITIONS. Exhibits in galleries in the UK.  Represented in USA by the Peninsula Gallery Lewes Delaware.

NATIONAL EXHIBITIONS. The Royal Water-colour Society, at the Bankside Gallery.
The Pastel Society.
The Royal Society of Marine Artists.
The New English Art Club
The Royal Institute of Painters in Water-colour.
The Royal Institute of Oil Painters.
The Royal Society of Portrait Painters.
The Royal Society of British Artists, all at the Mall Galleries London.
The Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition.
The Royal West of England Academy, at Bristol.
The Royal Academy, London.

TUTORING.Dedham Hall Dedham Essex. The Watershed Studio, St Osyth, Essex.
Tutoring Workshops in Rohoboth Art League Delaware USA.

MEMBERSHIP. 1996 elected a member of The Wapping Group of Artists.
1997 elected a member of The Chelsea Art Society.
2000 elected a member of The Langham Sketching Club.
2001 elected a member of The R.I. (The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour).
2002 elected to R.I. Council.
2003 elected to The Pastel Society. 2008 elected to Council.  2011 Vice President.
2006 elected an Associate of The ROI. (The Royal Institute of Oil Painters).
2008 elected full member of the ROI. 2009 elected ROI Council.
2011 Honary President of Haslemere Art Society.

RESIDENCES.  1997 Invited Artist in Residence for the Petersfield Music Festival.
1996 - 1998 Artist in Residence at Petworth House. 2005 Festival of the Sea Artist.
2005, 2007,2009, 2011 Invited Artist in Residence for Guildford International Music Festival.

AWARDS.1999 & 2005 R.O.I prize winner   Non-Member painter award.
2000 Pastel Society   Annie Longley award.
2000 Royal Watercolour Society Abbott & Holder Travel Award.
2002 R.O.I. The Stanley Grimm Award.
2003 Pastel Society Unison Pastel Award.
2003 R.I. Llewellyn Alexander Award.
2004 & 2006 Pastel Society Daler Rowney Award of Excellence.
2009 ROI Cornelissen Prize for Painting.
2010 Pastel Society Ranelagh Press Award.
2010 The Bath Prize Best Oil Painting.
2010 ROI Le Clerc Fowle Medal.
2011 Pastel Society Unison Pastel Award.    2011 Pastel Society Anthony J Lester Art Critics Award   2011 Pastel Society The Arts Club Award.
2011 ROI DAS Group Award for a work of Distinction.
2011 Honary Mention  Prize Plein Air, Easton USA
2013 Pastel Society Caran Dache Main Sponsors Award
2015 ROI Cornelissen & Son Prize for Painting
2015 ROI Dartington Crystal Chalice Award
2016 RI Neil Meacher Sketching Award.

Contributor to the Artist Magazine.  Artist and Illustrator Magazine
Has work in collection of Surrey University.