A happy heart pulses in a rhythmic beat throughout the original oil paintings of Southport based artist David Renshaw. A quiet unassuming coastal town in the North West of England lined with endless flat beaches provides the perfect calm backdrop for a dedicated painter. Few artists have rivalled Renshaw for his quiet consistency in producing a comprehensive world for his sweethearts endearingly named Doris and Ted. Aptly the title of the collection Northern Romance is an ode to the true origin of the series; conceived in 2010, the first paintings marked a departure from the purist landscape works gallery visitors had become accustomed to expect.
David Renshaw's Art - From Landscape Painting to Heart Lifting
This risk taking trait is a characteristic concealed under a softly spoken demeanour. Walking away from a firm income when his two children were still young; Renshaw had an assured conviction in both his ability alongside the driving knowledge that he must paint. The decision is all the more extraordinary in learning that the artist had no artistic training. No three or four years of full time tutored study; like most other things in Renshaw’s life his accomplishment has emerged from a perfect mix of inherent talent and commitment to the School of Life to learn his craft.
It is why when unexpectedly the very first delightful paintings of Doris and Ted first appeared at Wyecliffe Galleries several years ago, those collectors who knew Renshaw well were not surprised to see a light-hearted yet genuine message appear in the guise of his characters. Adorned with matching flat caps, the pair walked into Renshaw’s landscapes with ease and stood underneath the clear light skies of picture perfect scenery. With renewed vigour, the collection saw our companion’s adventure into new territory from sea crashed coast to sun drenched vista. The point always clear – that they were together, no matter how rocky the terrain.
Renshaw's Inspirations for Ted and Doris
A solid relationship from an early age, David’s wife Claire has long been inspiration behind the paintings. Heartfelt in tone, his works speak without words what it is to commit to better or worse. ‘Journey’ is a word that has often been appropriated on television talent shows and perhaps consequently loses some meaning. Doris and Ted alongside so many couples fight the quiet fight – the one against the daily grind, about who will put the bins out and the one when you try not to squabble about who forgot to pay the parking fine. Our champions when hung on the household wall renew hope every day for those who enjoy their presence at home; to remind about why we work hard to enjoy the little things and the milestone moments.
David Renshaw Limited Editions; A Southern Romance and the Northern Lights
New chapters took Doris and Ted to new lands, some fantastical, others more familiar. It was perhaps only a matter of time before the companions journeyed across the legendary North/South divide of Great Britain and headed for the capital city. London was the backdrop of the first official road trip. Some of the very first hand finished limited editions Show Me the Way and Heart of Londonintroduced the pair on classic city break enjoying the magnificent sites of St. Pauls Cathedral and Tower Bridge. With every edition featuring a hand painted heart in a unique location, the works remain as equally prized as his rare original paintings. Occasionally, very Bernard the dog accompanies the travellers, and with even less frequency a baby and his big sister may be spotted in the paintings, each one a small piece of the jigsaw puzzle of their lifetime together.
Wyecliffe Galleries remains the biggest dealer of Renshaw’s work internationally; and sits in a privileged position of hearing the very personal stories and meanings that collectors have found in Renshaw’s universal language of romance. The truth of every brush stoke tells the tale of the sacred nature of commitment, dedication and reliability within a partnership. Lovers and friends, each other’s fierce heroes and lifetime supporters, Doris and Ted share a little in common with all of us that has loved. Most recent hand crafted limited edition Lights and Dreams takes the partners in crime to the edge of the Northern Lights – a reminder that we are the gatekeepers of our other half’s ambitions and adventures. Perhaps Renshaw’s mission statement could be implied as dare to love, and find somebody that makes your heart skip a beat.