Richard Rennie

Richard Rennie

About the Artist

Born 1932 – Zimbabwe

“Richard is the doyen of South African landscape watercolourists” – Barry Johnson, 1989.

Richard was born on a farm in the Midlands of what was then very firmly Rhodesia. As a boy he roamed freely and observed the undulating landscape in its colours and tones occasionally committing them to paper in sketch, crayon and watercolour. These were halcyon days in a country not directly touched by World War II.

On finishing his schooling in what was then Salisbury (Harare), Richard enrolled at the Durban School of Art, passing with considerable distinction. He joined several advertising agencies where he began to exploit his natural talent for fine drawing and colour.

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After ten years in the advertising business, Richard took the plunge and opened an art materials shop and Gallery in Salisbury. Here his interest and dedication to serious painting was focused and consolidated. Richard became fully adept in painting in oils and acrylics, but found watercolour best suited to his impulsive nature and gave him greater satisfaction from the spontaneous commitment of ideas to paper.

In 1979 Richard sold his business in Salisbury and moved to South Africa with his family. After a brief spell in Johannesburg, Richard moved back to Natal where he drew great inspiration from the rolling landscapes of the midlands. His abstract impressionistic landscapes with sensitive use of colour and well worked with glorious clouds and skyscapes made his work a natural choice for collectors, corporations and galleries.

Richard has had too many one-man shows to mention in South Africa, Namibia and overseas. As an artist he gave generously of his time in the teaching of others.

Recently Richard has returned to oils, acrylics, oil pastels and mixed media whilst expanding his range of subjects to include floral and abstract studies in miniature and normal 60x90cm format.

Richard is married with two children and one grandchild. There is talk of a book or ’catalogue raissone’ of Richards work, which would include an explanation of his techniques, but as yet it is still eagerly anticipated. Many artists owe Richard a great dept from his teaching and support with their early years of painting. Peter Hall, Sue Kemp spring to mind in particular.