Regina Orchard interview

Regina Orchard - In the Frame and now with her own Members Gallery

Regina Orchard has been a member of Clevedon Art Club since the late 1980's, entering every exhibition since joining! As a prolific oil painter, Regina is passionate about the sea and ships and likes nothing more than to be near the sea with her sketch book in hand. Her love of Cornwall, and all things Cornish, inspire her greatly and many of her exquisite small paintings are of quaint cottages, farms nestled into hillsides or fishing villages in her favourite county.

Regina was born in 1928, and her grandfather had a huge artistic influence on her. In the late 1800s, he created the shade cards for the paint manufacturers, John Hall, in Bedminster. He went on to work as a stonemason at Arno's Vale cemetery, re-gilding the text on gravestones with real gold leaf, and later he worked at the docks near St Mary Redcliffe, embellishing the decorative parts of wooden ships.

Regina went to the Weston School of Art in the late 1940s, and studied life, illustration and general art. She married in 1953 and stopped painting whilst raising her four children. In the late 1960s, a neighbour asked to buy a painting that she had completed before her marriage, and this sale inspired her to pick up her paint brush once more...

Whilst working in Portishead Post Office, Mrs Sutton, the wife of the art teacher at Gordano school, was a regular customer. Mrs Sutton organised local art exhibitions and asked Regina to place work in them. Those early paintings sold for £5 each, and there was always work available for Mrs Sutton to show! Mr Tozer of Ramsay's Fine Art Gallery in Taunton saw Regina's work at one of these shows and asked if she would like to sell her work at his gallery. Of course she said 'yes', and for many years Regina's paintings sold not only in Taunton, but at The Mall Gallery, Clifton and Park Street.

More recently Regina has been exploring the world of collage, and now has a new following of admirers, including two pieces sold recently to The Lord Mayor of Bristol.

As mentioned previously, Regina's greatest love, and her constant source of inspiration, is Cornwall. After speaking with her, you'd imagine she'd been down every lane and alley, of every hamlet, village and town in the county, armed with her sketch book, pencil and a pack of water colours!

Her small collectable paintings of cottages, farms and sea views are a delight to their many new owners. Regina continues to paint constantly and always has an idea or a project on the go; and still gets very excited when she sells a painting!

As a recent neighbour and friend of Regina, I find myself constantly inspired by her energy, laughter and arty conversation, plus we share a love of all things Cornwall. A very lucky coincidence indeed!

 Julia