"Most popular living artist in the UK" comes to Knutsford | Knutsford Times

“Most popular living artist in the UK” comes to Knutsford

By on August 11, 2019

The BBC has described him as “the most popular living artist in the UK” and now Doug Hyde, whose naïve art is feted both here and in Japan, is unveiling a brand-new collection of works…Summer of Love at Whitewall Galleries, Knutsford.

Doug will tour Whitewall galleries around the country to showcase a series of new original artwork, alongside a range of signed limited editions and sculptures, featuring a mood-lifting theme that’s guaranteed to brighten any day. From cyclists to sun worshippers, beaches to board games, Doug’s engaging style is at once innocent, whimsical, happy and optimistic. From the quirky to the iconic, his stylish, contemporary take on life strips away the inessentials and uses the entire canvas to convey simple gestures and ideas with irresistible force.

Working from his rural home in the Cotswolds, where he lives with his wife, children and menagerie including dogs and even alpacas, Doug creates work that transcends boundaries of age, gender and culture. His highly personal pastel technique uses fingers and thumbs to apply the colour with supreme control. It also has the additional effect of forming a uniquely intimate bond between artist and canvas. When viewed closely, the smudges and shading are apparent, but so dexterously executed as to give total clarity to each image. 

Over the years his style has shifted and progressed in subtle ways, reflecting both the changes in his personal circumstances and the world around him. His art speaks directly to the emotions of his audience by summarising love, desires, wishes and dreams and has turned him into a genuine artist of the people, for the people. Doug’s wide-ranging collections include his original pastels sketches, stunning bronze and porcelain sculptures and innovative, three dimensional objects of art.

Doug says of his work: “I genuinely love what I do and I realise how lucky I am every day to get such enjoyment from my work. But it is when an artwork I have created for a personal reason has meaning and impact for a complete stranger that I enjoy it the most. I know collectors often respond with smiles and laughter, sometimes tears, sometimes even both, and it touches me that something I created for my own personal pleasure or to express a particular emotion has been able to connect with other people and give them that same feeling.”

Since winning the Fine Art Trade Guild’s ‘Artist of the Year’ award in 2004 Doug has been featured on national and international television including BBC news, Channel 4 and local TV and radio. His celebrity collectors include actor Emily Blunt, international golfer Rory Mcllroy and football manager Roy Hodgson. In 2015 he was ‘Official Artist’ to the England rugby team.

Doug is also passionate about the charitable causes he supports. He has partnered with the NSPCC, Children in Need, Look Good…Feel Better – a charity that helps female cancer patients to combat some of the side-effects of their illness, and Families in Need, which helps to place children in loving family homes throughout the West Country.

He says: “As an artist, you are sometimes told that your art has touched someone’s life, and this is a lovely thing to hear. But to see practical evidence that my work can be used to benefit a fantastic cause is something very special.”

The new Summer of Love collectable pieces range in price from £750 to £19,950 for original works and £275 to £1,950 for limited editions. What’s more, any art lover purchasing one of more of Doug’s works during his summer exhibition tour will receive the latest in a series of commemorative collectables to be presented by Doug himself!

Clarendon Fine Art CEO Helen Swaby adds: “Doug is one of those rare artists whose work truly connects with his collectors on a highly personal level. His work is heartwarming, fun and touching – as well as being technically highly complex in the way he creates it. That’s what makes him such a successful artist and keeps his loyal following of art lovers coming back time and again.”

About Lucy Thorpe

Lucy Thorpe is a freelance journalist who writes for the Knutsford Times - covering stories and news in and around Cheshire and Greater Manchester. If you've got a story to share, or would like to speak to Lucy, please email news@knutsfordtimes.co.uk

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