Ray Postill | Herts Visual Arts
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Ray Postill

Ray Postill

Artist Selling Life’s Work for Ukraine Charity

Russia’s unprovoked assault on Ukraine has caused enormous civilian casualties as well as the destruction of so much civilian infrastructure, causing people to flee their homes seeking safety, protection and assistance.

Wanting to help, local artist Ray Postill decided to sell his life's work of over 250 original paintings with all proceeds going to the BEARR Trust to help provide humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people.

The charity was set up to provide support to the nations of the former Soviet Union focusing on the care of vulnerable groups. When Russia invaded, they were the first charity on the ground with medical and other essential supplies. Donors know that 100% of their donation is spent on emergency aid. The trustees work on a voluntary basis, and cover admin costs through other fundraising.

Ray was born in Barnet on 8th January 1945, the last of seven children. His profession was Civil Engineering. During a long career he worked as Resident Engineer on numerous major highways construction projects including the M25, M11, A406, A2, A10, A13 and the A55 across Anglesey. He lives in St Albans where his family have resided for over 40 years.

Although Ray has been painting for over 30 years, he is entirely self-taught and he has never received any training in art. He has not really tried to market his work and, of the paintings that have left his collection, the majority have been gifted to friends and family. His gratification is that people find his paintings good enough to want them and that is its own reward.  Thus he still has in his possession over 250 original images. Having reached the ripe old age of 78, he has been thinking that it would be a great idea to use this body of work to raise money for a worthwhile charity.

Initially painting in the Naive style he found that he could produce pleasing images which create a different reality to conventional academic art, allowing complete freedom to tell a story without following the normal rules relating to colour, scale or perspective. His paintings often combine a mix of nostalgia and humour and can best be described as “Quirky”. Artists that have inspired him include Van Gogh, Rousseau, Lowery, Peter Heard and several of the Yugoslavian Naïves.

In terms of inspiration, often a title for the painting comes first and Ray will use that to work up an image to paint. He has a number of different categories or styles, having started with naive characters, landscapes and animals and later moving on to art deco figures and iconic portraits. The latter are of famous actors, singers, film stars, etc. all painted in black and white in a highly textured, high contrast style. Other categories include: abstract, circus, sport, nostalgia, surreal and even Christmas!

Accessing his website will reveal all paintings currently still for sale. Included is a price for each. Ray likes to think that each purchase is seen as a donation. The “donor” knowing his/her purchase will be going straight to the charity and, as a reward, the donor will receive the gift of that original image as a keepsake and reminder of their own generosity. Prices include for postage, packing and a certificate of authenticity, signed by the artist.

To find out more, and/or to purchase Ray’s paintings, please visit https://artsforukraine.org.uk/

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