To be an artist and an inspiring teacher is a rare gift and many famous artists have combined their creative practice with impassioning students; Georgia O’Keefe, Kathe Kollwitz, Roy Lichtenstein and Marc Chagall in Europe and the USA; and within the Welsh arts scene, luminaries such as Glenys Cour, Ceri Richards and Kyffin Williams are respected artists and enthusiastic teachers. Many students of Swansea’s Art School throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s benefitted from the quiet and good natured inspiration of Arthur “Andy” Charlton.
Some Past Students
Andy influenced many students over the years and some are sharing their work in his online exhibition.
Swansea artist Alan Figg, who studied with Andy between 1960 – 1963, has specialised in linocut prints for almost 60 years. He remembers Andy Charlton fondly.
“He was not a very big man, but he had considerable gravitas in that he clearly knew a great deal about printmaking. He had been persuaded by Ron Cour, his friend and fellow RCA student, to take up the post at Swansea College of Art to teach wood engraving, etching and lithography. I was fortunate that he was so patient with my early attempts, not over-critical, always with something positive and constructive to say about my work.”
Alan completed many lithographs under Andy’s guidance.
Swansea-based artist Rosie Scribblah studied with Andy between 1973 and 1977. She says,
“I originally wanted to study painting at Art College, but after doing a printmaking module with Andy, I switched enthusiastically … and I’ve never stopped. Here is the earliest print I did with him, a linocut from 1973 of our life drawing model, Mrs. Griffiths. It looks very juvenile and a bit clunky now, but this was where my lifelong love of printmaking began.”
At the end of the 70s, Dale Stevens studied etching with Andy when she was an illustration student.
“I remember Andy as quiet, serious, diligent with an exacting process, which was good as that’s what I needed. He inspired me to do very advanced things, considering I was a beginner. He encouraged me to go further and I did a Masters in Art in Manchester and had a career as a botanical artist with the museums service.”
Looking For The Past
Swansea Print Workshop Director Jackie Ford, who was a colleague of Andy’s at Swansea College of Art, found a drawer of student prints after he retired and these are published in the exhibition below.
“We’re going to publicise these far and wide”, she says, “we’re hoping to do a bit of detective work and find the students who did these prints so many years ago. These were obviously prints that he really liked and kept a copy. Unfortunately only one is signed. I think Rose is being over modest about her linocut of the famous model Mrs Griffiths, I had it up on my wall for a long time before I ever found out who had done it.”
If you were a printmaking student under Andy Charlton and would like to share your memories, we’d love to hear from you.
Swansea Print Workshop is privileged to be showing in our virtual exhibition space, wide-ranging prints by Arthur (Andy) Charlton which have never been seen as a body of work before.