Charity Art Auction in Memory of Former Titchmarsh Resident Betty Ray

Betty enjoyed painting. During the course of her adult life, she completed nearly a hundred paintings. She was too humble to call herself an artist; she painted because she enjoyed it, as it gave her a sense of peace and took her away from the cares and concerns of everyday life.

Betty lived with her husband Alec in the village of Titchmarsh, in Northamptonshire, and her paintings were almost invariably of rural life. However, she didn’t take her easel out and paint en plein air, preferring to use pictures and photographs from magazines as her source materials. She developed her own impressionistic style, with recurring themes and vibrant colours. There are landscapes and seascapes – the stormy seas giving a hint of the emotional turmoil she was escaping, but also expressing – and lots of paintings of wildlife. Her favourites were owls, kingfishers and swans, sheep, and small mammals.

Betty volunteered in the Mind charity shop in nearby Oundle, and would also meet to paint with friends at the art workshops run by the shop.

Betty passed away in 2013. Alec, who had been her rock, succumbed to the effects of a stroke in 2010, and she never really found a way to live without him. She felt bereft and unable to paint in her last years.

A decade later, Les feels this is the time to celebrate his mum’s art in this special evening. The music will be by his band Red Velvet, a selection of songs he’s written about his family and growing up in Titchmarsh.

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