READERS are being asked to help identify the location portrayed in a painting by a well-known Devon artist.
Linda Downing was shown a painting by Richard Woollcombe, of Rumleigh, near Bere Alston, and asked to find out which river location was being protrayed.
The oil painting features a tree-lined slow-moving and meandering river with the focus a ruined roofless overgrown stone building on the opposite bank next to a weir. The building appears to be a kind of water mill with a stone slope exitting the ruin and a gulley meeting the river where the weir water rushes over a ledge.
Linda said: ‘My friend’s son bought a box of unframed paintings which includes this one by Dick, as he was known locally. He lived here and painted people and landscapes. I think it’s the Tamar rather than the Tavy.
“But it’s a lovely peaceful picture in my favourite colours. I’d like to be able to tell my friends where it is.”
Richard died in 2016 and his paintings were exhibited in the town centre as a tribute before many were auctioned.
He joined the Tavistock Group of Artists in 1966 which used the Fenner Room (now the museum) to paint sitters.
His work was often humourous and a good example of this is his series of 12, still adorning the long walls of Derriford Hospital.
One of the paintings was a ‘thank you’ from him for treating his chronic back pain.
Linda said: ‘He was very talented and that shows in his studies of local people in different locations.
‘The hospital paintings cover 12 months of the year which he decided to do after going to the county agriculture show.’
The ‘West Country Year’ as Dick titled the series of paintings in the hospital are described by Dick as catching his “off-beat” sense of humour.
The monthly pictures show aspects of West Devon rural life: These witty pictures include very unimpressed men digging a fuel lorry out of snowdrifts while he puts his feet up in his warm cab and reads the paper; a farmer keeping his feet dry in his broken down Landrover while his put-upon wife pushes him and their pig to market along a flooded road and a line-up of humans admiring the rear ends of show heifers while they are being observed from their own rears by a dog and cat.
He was known as an endearing and charismatic character with a vast collection of artwork.
► Anyone who can help find where the picture was painted should call 01822 613666.