Born in 1954, Roy Appleton was a dad, a grandad, a brother, an uncle, a partner and a good friend to many. He spent most of his life making, building, fixing – training himself on every DIY job imaginable!
Roy was a painter: he painted school playgrounds, sprayed Rolls Royce cars and black cabs, and in his most recent venture turned his hand to a freer approach by splattering paint onto canvas to create abstract art.
Each action painting is unique, combining different techniques, layers and weathered effects to create explosive high impact pieces and more subtle works. Roy’s creative process made excellent use of the changeable British weather, and unlike many people he was happy when it rained. He tracked the weather forecast on TV and waited for the perfect conditions: a dry morning, followed by rain. When the time was right he would take a canvas and coloured acrylic paints out to his backyard, and energetically set about it. He loved the physical act of throwing, pouring, squirting and splattering paint from a height. Then left the wet canvas outside, exposed to the elements to let nature take its course. Some days a painting dried quickly in the sun, on other days rainwater created new and unexpected visual effects, a great source of inspiration for Roy. These actions and his sense of humour are captured in each unique painting. He loved to “Go for it!” and enjoyed the positive impact of making art on his mood and well-being.
When he first started making art, his family were not too sure about it, but with his determination and confidence in improving his techniques he developed his own creative style and went on to create dozens of magnificent paintings over the last few years of his life.
Roy’s artwork hangs in the homes of his family and many of his closest friends as treasured reminders of his creativity and achievements. Also enjoyed by many customers who have bought his paintings in exhibitions at Outpost and across Islington.
Roy had been involved with Peter Bedford Housing Association (PBHA) creative courses since 2011 and joined our Supporting Makers programme at Outpost. He showcased 3 successful exhibitions from 2013-17, titled ‘Weather Beaten’ and ‘Weather or Not’, selling many paintings, handmade cards and ceramics, building his public reputation as an artist.
One particularly well-known fan of Roy’s artwork is Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Leader and Islington MP. During the July 2017 election week Roy made the headlines of national newspapers featuring a photograph of his painting hanging in Corbyn’s home, bought from Outpost in 2013, and naming Roy Appleton as his favourite artist. Roy was over-joyed with his new-found fame and the surge in sales of his artwork!
Roy was proud of his creations and happy to display his pride, much as he did with his family and friends’ achievements. Please take the time to enjoy his paintings, which show how much he enjoyed creating them. This is very likely to be the last public exhibition of Roy Appleton paintings, although his artwork will be appreciated and remembered in many people’s homes and hearts for years to come.
***Selected artwork is for sale, with money going to the Appleton family and PBHA – Creative Programmes, supporting vulnerable adults across North East London.***