Watercolour and gouache on paper, dated ‘1927’ and signed lower left
Image size: 12 1/2 x 19 3/8 inches (31.75 x 49.25 cm)
Mounted and framed
The Collection of Jill and John Fairchild
Label on reverse from The Jerram Gallery, Wiltshire
Please scroll down for more information and a framed image.
This wonderful landscape champions the River Teviot in all of its splendour. The River Teviot, or Teviot Water, is a river found in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland.
Birch’s life was intrinsically linked to rivers; as a young child ill health forced him to leave his place of birth to recuperate at the home of a river bailiff and it was here that he was introduced to fly-fishing. It was also here that he began sketching landscapes and river landscapes remained a continuous focus of his work throughout his life. Dame Laura Knight, a great friend of Birch, wrote that he was a ‘passionate fisherman, and is sometimes called ‘The Fisherman Artist’…. His favourite path would be beside the river and his chosen task to capture the gleam dancing on the ripples’.
Birch often created landscapes of the Scottish highlands and countryside. He travelled around England and Scotland looking specifically for new fishing rivers to paint.
Samuel John Lamorna Birch
Samuel John Lamorna Birch was born in Egremont, Cheshire, on 7 June 1869. As a boy he moved to Manchester and later to Halton, near Lancaster, working in offices and mills. He painted at dawn or sunset, before and after his work hours. Birch was self-taught as an artist but he did spend a year in Paris at the Atelier Colarossi between 1895 and 1896. From 1889 he regularly visited Cornwall and was influenced by Stanhope Forbes, who had settled at Newlyn in 1884 and who founded the Newlyn School of Art in 1899 with his wife Elizabeth Adela Armstrong.
In 1897 Birch settled at St. Buryan moving in 1902 (the year of his marriage) to Lamorna, near Penzance. At this time there was an artist named Lionel Birch living in Newlyn and, at the suggestion of Stanhope Forbes, Samuel John Birch took the additional name of Lamorna in order to distinguish himself. A great deal of his work was carried out in Cornwall, but he did not confine himself to this area as he was a keen fisherman and he made frequent visits to Scotland, Wales, the North West of England and the West Country to indulge his twin passions of painting and fishing.
Birch established an excellent reputation and exhibited his work widely, including 227 pictures at The Royal Academy, where he exhibited for fifty consecutive years between 1905 and his death on 7 January 1955 at Lamorna.
He exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, the Manchester City Art Gallery and at the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours. Works by Lamorna Birch can be found in the Tate Gallery, London.