Chester artist Richard Pryke has presented his oil painting Ichabod to the city’s Grosvenor Museum.
The artist said: “Painted in 2011, Ichabod is a view along the Aldford Brook. Like all my work, it was painted on the spot.
“I began painting in the open air because of the example set by artists I greatly admire from the latter part of the 19th century.
“I have continued because being on the spot compels me to really look. It facilitates the selection of optimal light and weather conditions, like the sunbeams in this picture. And it gives rise to an almost ecstatic love of the place that is being painted. This does not arise when I am forced to fall back on a photograph.
“The challenge when painting Ichabod was (apart from the normal braving of wind and rain) to convey the sad, but not hostile, beauty of the scene; a melancholy that happened to match my mood at that time.”
He added: “I was born in London in 1933. My art master at school was the late Sir Kyffin Williams RA, and I became an enthusiastic painter and sketcher.
“I wish I had become an artist, but instead I became an economist and taught at the University of Liverpool. However, my enthusiasm for art continued, and I wrote a book on the life and work of the Edwardian artist Norman Garstin.
“This rekindled my enthusiasm for painting, and for some years I have devoted myself full time to painting in oils. I paint landscapes, buildings and interiors, mainly around Chester (where I have lived since 1984) but also further afield. I have exhibited in Cheshire, the Midlands and Wales.”
Cllr Stuart Parker, Cheshire West and Chester Council’s executive member for culture and economy, said: “I am most grateful to Richard Pryke for his very generous donation.
“Ichabod is a splendidly accessible painting, capturing beautifully the depths of the clear water and the reflections on its surface, the breeze moving the waterside foliage, the shafts of sunlight breaking through the clouds.
“I have no doubt it will be greatly enjoyed by the Grosvenor Museum’s many visitors.”
The Grosvenor Museum is open Monday-Saturday 10.30am-5pm and Sunday 1-4pm, admission free.