13 May 2009

Anthony Hodge will be greatly missed

Well-known Horsley artist Anthony Hodge

It was with great sadness that I learnt of Anthony's death - The Citizen says it all in their piece copied below where they say "an exceptional painter and an insightful bon viveur who was 'great fun to be around'." Anthony will be greatly missed indeed - loved his art and his enthusiasm - a special man indeed.

Photos: Above - Anthony Hodge pictured by the Stroud News and Journal in October last year next to a self portrait at his exhibition at The Space entitled The Autumn of My Life. Below - Green party local election HQ in Anthony's gallery in Nailsworth.

Anthony was fun to be around
Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ARTIST Anthony Hodge will be remembered as an exceptional painter and an insightful bon viveur who was "great fun to be around".

Somerset-born Anthony, who died on April 29 aged 60, had a fascination with colour which began at an early age. He recalled in his memoirs: "When I was about five or six I found some small squares of coloured glass lying around in the cellar. They transformed the world into an all-blue/green/red/yellow place, with each colour providing a wholly fresh sensation – a taste, even."

His school report at 12 spotted his potential. His art teacher wrote: "He has lively, original ideas and should do very well indeed when he slows down a little." His quick wit was also evident. A geometry teacher reported: "If he wrote as much as he talked he would get better results."

He studied fine art at Chelsea and Kingston Schools of Art and met his future wife Jessica at South Hill Park an arts centre in Bracknell. The couple moved to Gloucestershire, spending 20 years in Nailsworth where they raised their daughter Alice, 27 and son Robin, 24.

Anthony taught at Stroud College and Ruskin Mill as well as running galleries in Nailsworth, No 4 and then The Warehouse. He painted landscapes, figures and still life and while his style developed throughout his career, his work always had a strong sense of colour and composition.

"Paintings, for me, have a dual function of being a window into an illusion and on the other hand making you aware of yourself in the present moment," he told Stroud Life last autumn. His unique sense of vision was integral to his personality.

"He painted almost every day for the last 30, maybe 40 years," said Alice. "He drew on napkins, telephone pads, in cafes and cinemas. If we went to a play he would draw the audience and actors. Drawing and painting was part of who he was."

He was engaging, clever and funny and Alice and Robin described him with fondness as "the most embarrassing dad".

He was a Peter Pan personality whose great love, aside from art, was sport, particularly tennis and cricket. He cited tennis star Roger Federer as an inspiration and said last autumn: "Sometimes when I'm painting I think 'I'm down a match point so this is the point I need to win'."

He leaves an enduring legacy, not only the paintings hung above fireplaces all over the country but the smile on the faces of friends who recall many happy times spent in his company.


Graphicstation said...

I hadn't realized until recently Anthony had passed away. Though I never met him in person, we had corresponded via email when I ran across him while doing online searches for my own name which is Anthony Hodge also. We found it interesting that we were both artists and and similar things in common. I'm sure he will be greatly missed.

Philip Booth said...

Indeed Anthony is v much missed - good to hear there is another one around! I really enjoyed visiting your website - thanks.