The Studio of Derek Inwood (1925-2012)

The Studio of Derek Inwood (1925-2012)

Date: 25th Apr, 2024 10:30

Residual contents of the studio of Derek Inwood (1925-2012)

Derek Inwood was an extraordinarily prolific and distinctive painter who lived, for the last four decades of his life, in the North Norfolk town of Sheringham. Here he drew inspiration for perhaps his best known work; his warm and characterful seascapes depicting the daily life of Norfolk crab fishermen. 

Derek’s colourful and original style had, however, sprung from a lifelong commitment to sketching and painting. In 1958 he had travelled to France where he rented a dilapidated, tiny shed on a Parisien rooftop and spent his days sketching and attending life classes at La Grande Chaumiere. 

In 1959 he enrolled in Oskar Kokoschka’s School of Vision in Saltzburg along with his artist friend Irena Hale. Kokoschka’s teaching; to ‘see in colour’ profoundly altered Derek’s approach. From this point on, colour was everything. 

On returning to England, Derek taught Art at Whatcombe House, inspiring and improving the lives of disaffected youth at the innovative educational school in Winterbourne, Dorset. 

His first wife Elsa had died and he later remarried Joan and moved to Henley-on-Thames living by the river and painting in a boathouse at the bottom of the garden. Derek often used a punt as a floating studio and his works from this period frequently feature Henley Regatta and rowing.

During the late 1960’s and early 1970’s he was greatly involved with the Reading Guild of Artists (along with Robert Gillmor who was President of the Guild) winning the Marie Dyson Award for works submitted to the annual show in 1969 ( at which John Piper was the assessor ) and 1973. 

He also lived in Mousehole in Cornwall, where he repeatedly painted the distinctive X shape of the winch on the harbour wall. In both Henley and Mousehole, Derek experimented with abstract mosaic like paintings alongside his other colourful more realistic works. 

Derek exhibited widely throughout his life with many solo exhibitions, as well as at the Summer exhibition at the Royal Academy. 

From the late 1980’s Derek shared his life at Allouette ( his fisherman’s cottage on Sheringham seafront) with the cellist Gillian Lubach, who along with their cat Millie became the muse for numerous paintings.

Keys is delighted to present this auction, which includes many early drawings from his Paris and Salzburg period along with paintings and oil pastels spanning the rest of his artistic output. In Norfolk he often painted with Leslie Marr and there are paintings by Derek of Leslie and many of Derek by Leslie. Other artists’ work available at the auction are by Derek’s artist friends Anthony Hodge, Gilbert Adams, James Bucknall, Irena Hale, his daughter Liz Inwood and his sister Muriel ‘Babs’ Inwood. 

Name: Tim Blyth
Email: tim.blyth@keysauctions.co.uk