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Picture essay: artist Roger Large

By West Country Life  |  Posted: March 15, 2014

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Artist Roger Large was born a Liverpudlian.

The Liverpool accent has long departed. Probably lost somewhere between Liverpool College of Art and the trip south to the Royal College of Art.

Not that artist Roger Large is affected in any way, he wears his heart on his sleeve. In fact that sleeve can form part of his mixed media paintings. The fabric of his shirt is glued and covered with oil paint, multi-layers and expertly applied.

"I don't waste anything, I tear the pieces and work them into the art."

Talking at his home in west Somerset he explains his work is "about things, and not of things".

A lover of the shape of bottles, he is pleased by a Chivers jam jar he found in a hedgerow. On a window sill stands an array of bottles of all shapes and sizes, extracted from his mother's medicine chest.

Beside a gilt-framed mirror hangs a surprise, a delightful figurative work of a vase of flowers, exquisite colours, magnetically engaging. A gift to Maggie, his wife of 41 years: "to keep her quiet," he jokes.

"He would like it back, but he cannot afford it," retorts the lady who shares his life.

Roger found Liverpool College of Art in the 1960s a lively place and he remembers a confident John Lennon.

"He was very successful with his music at that time, and a year above me, and wasn't going to bother with a bloke like me."

Roger, aged 75 this month, always found jazz or classical more interesting than pop music. "I saw and heard Miles Davis and Theolonius Monk," he says. The jazz greats are still Roger's partners in creativity. Oil and acrylic are worked into paintings to their sounds.

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