- Secret artist
During half a century of committed creativity Roger Cecil produced a remarkable body of paintings. They were distinctively his own, deeply felt and beautiful. He was one of the most able and prolific artists of his generation. Nevertheless, he walked a path apart from his contemporaries.
He never sought a position in the thriving centres of the art world but preferred to remain a working-class artist in his working-class community, staying in the house where he grew up and labouring to bring in cash. He was uninterested in exhibiting, uninterested in selling, uninterested in groups or status. Throughout his life he was absorbed simply by being the best painter he could be.
Undated, c. 1998
Mixed media on board, 10x15cm
1999. Mixed media on paper, 25x18cm
Undated. Mixed media on paper, 25x18cm. Detail
Abertillery in Winter
Undated, c. 1990. Mixed media, 48x44cm
Private collection. Photograph courtesy of Oriel Myrddin
Angharad getting into her copper bath
2000. Mixed media on MDF, 18x15cm. Collection of William Gibbs
Nearly everyone who got to know the work of Roger Cecil considered him a secret artist. It was rare to find any of it on show, and even when it was he seldom attended exhibitions or openings in person. Yet in a wider sense the artist was there for all to see. Friends and neighbours knew he was a painter by profession.
More galleries showed his work than any one of them might have realised, and they usually sold it almost instantly to sharp-eyed collectors. Among his greatest champions were fellow artists who saw straight away that what he did was something special.
Undated, c. 1995
Mixed media on canvas, 183x153cm
1992. Mixed media on paper, 46x42cm
Undated, c. 1995. Mixed media on paper, 46x42cm