Blog Up close with Robert E Wells – Silent Auction Artist One of the art works donated to our Silent Auction is an original oil painting by Yorkshire born artist, Robert E Wells, entitled ‘Northern Line’. This wonderful 122 cm x 91 cm painting, worth £5,800, shows a man and women travelling on the London underground Northern Line. With a starting price of just £2,500, this is an opportunity to buy a beautiful original piece of art for a bargain price. The painting is one of a number of special pieces that will be offered for sale by Silent Auction at our Secret Art Sale on 28/29thSeptember. To take part in the Silent Auction, visitors to the Secret Art Sale can submit their bid on a form underneath the featured paintings. They can increase their bid at any time over the weekend if they are outbid. The auction will close at 5pm on Sunday and the paintings will go to the highest bidders. Robert is well known for specialising in city and landscape paintings around London and the North Yorkshire Moors. Finding inspiration in towns and cities, he seeks out unusual views of familiar landmarks and scenes – encouraging the viewer to see places from a different perspective. Robert moved to London from Yorkshire in the late 1980s and when he first moved to the capital, he walked everywhere with his sketch book in hand. Sometimes he took public transport and drew a lot of inspiration there for his paintings. On one of these days, he found himself sitting on the Northern line, a line he usually tried to avoid as it was a dirty and noisy line back then. As most people tend to do on the tube, he avoided other people’s gaze and wanting to look busy, got out his sketch book. Robert remembers looking up and seeing a dishevelled looking guy sprawled on the seat opposite him and a nervous-looking lady sitting a few seats away. It reminded him of a painting he had seen by an American artist that had inspired a slight feeling of paranoia. This scene gave him the same feeling. The lady wore a red poppy and while she did seem quite anxious, Robert assumes she was reassured that he was in the carriage. Robert began to sketch the scene, being careful not to be intrusive. He also decided to stay on the train until the lady got off so that she felt more comfortable that there was someone else there. This painting, donated to Environment Trust, is an oil painting done some years later, based on the sketch that Robert did that day. Robert is an accomplished and full-time artist. He is a member of the Royal Federation of British Artists (RBA) and New English Arts Club (NEAC) and regularly exhibits at the Royal Academy and NEAC. He studied a master’s degree entitled The Illustration and Rendering of Architectural Spaces at London University. Prior to this he has studied at Batley Art College in Dewsbury, Yorkshire and worked for several years as an architectural illustrator. All proceeds from the auction of the painting will go towards Environment Trust’s important conservation and heritage work. If you would like to put in a bid for ‘Northern Line’ then come along to the Secret Art Sale at the Exchange in Twickenham on 28th September 11am-6pm & 29th September 11am-5pm.