Tag Archives: David Fisher

Midsomer Norton Artist David Fisher Dies Age 66 – Somerset Guardian

Celebrated Midsomer Norton artist David Fisher has died at the age of 66.

Mr Fisher lived in the town all his life making an enormous contribution to Midsomer Norton through his skill as an artist and involvement in local organisations.

He was an apprentice signwriter and decorator for F Speed and Sons before becoming an artist and designer, completing 386 pictorial pub signs for Courage and Butcombe breweries.

A commission from Trusthouse Forte resulted in 13 100ft murals for motorway services across the UK.

Mr Fisher turned away from corporate work to concentrate on his love of fine art and to paint subjects of his own choice as well as commissions in both oil and watercolours.

In 2003 his painting of a much-loved family pet, titled Friend or Foe, was a finalist in the Daily Mail Not the Turner Prize competition competing against 10,000 other entries.

He was also a regular winner of the Royal Bath and West most popular picture but it was his 2008 Holbourne Portrait Prize for Dead Man Posing that he felt brought him recognition.

His portrait of fellow artist Philip Ledbury, who had been diagnosed with leukaemia, won acclaim from the judges.

Mr Fisher’s wife Brenda said: “When he won he said that he had been recognised as an artist.”

Following the win he was given the chance to paint a notable figure as part of the museum’s Local Heroes exhibition. Mr Fisher chose actress Stephanie Cole and his painting was unveiled in April last year.

Trains were his inspiration and joy and he dug into childhood memories of catching the trains to produce his work.

Mr Fisher was a member of the Midsomer Norton Society, Wells Railway Fraternity, Somerset and Dorset Heritage Trust, Bristol Industrial Archaeological Society and the Old Bakery Artists. He was also an honorary member of the Worshipful Company of Painters and associated with Radstock Museum and the Somerset Coal Canal.

Mr Fisher was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and did not paint for two years while he fought his illness.

One of his last commissions was to design the Midsomer Norton Town Council logo.

Mrs Fisher said: “The logo will appear throughout the town and this will be a lovely and lasting memory of him.”

Midsomer Norton mayor Paul Myers said: “David made an enormous contribution to not just Midsomer Norton but the whole area and he will be greatly missed.

“Whilst his primary focus was painting it was his passion for local history which almost single handedly inspired the founders of the Midsomer Norton Society to come together and go on to achieve so much. A very visual part of his lasting legacy will be his design of the Midsomer Norton Town Council logo.”

He leaves his wife Brenda, children Amy and Mark and six grandchildren.

There will be a service of thanksgiving at St John’s Church on Friday, April 5, at 3pm.

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Prize Painting On Show – Somerset Guardian

A painting which scooped a top prize at the Bath and West Show is now on display in Midsomer Norton.

Artist David Fisher won the prize for the most popular exhibit in the art section for the ninth time.

His painting, First Things First, features the days of steam engines.

Mr Fisher said: “Railway engine drivers and firemen need a combined work effort to gain the greatest potential from these mighty machines and I hope this painting shows that close working bond.”

The painting is on display at The Swan Artworks, 10 High Street, as part of The Old Bakery Artists Summer Exhibition until Saturday, June 30.

Artist Unveils First Painting For Two Years At Museum – Somerset Guardian

A celebrated artist from Midsomer Norton has unveiled his latest painting at Bath’s Holburne Museum.

David Fisher, who won the 2008 Holburne Portrait Prize with his picture of Philip Ledbury, was given the chance to paint a notable local figure as part of the museum’s Local Heroes exhibition which celebrates the wealth of talent in the South West.

Mr Fisher, who selected actress Stephanie Cole as his subject, and Bath artist Sally Muir, who chose to paint Bill Bailey, will see their artwork displayed, along with the other prize commissions since 2002, at the exhibition which runs until Sunday, June 24.

Mr Fisher, who is a member of the Old Bakery Artists, chose to paint Cole backstage at the Bath Theatre Royal because he wanted to capture her as though she were rehearsing a play.

The 66-year-old, who has fought his way back to health after being diagnosed with cancer two years ago, said: “I wanted to paint a woman because no one has so in the competition so far.

“I came up with a list of about 13 names and so did the museum and Stephanie Cole was on the top of both our lists.

“I met with her to find out what makes her tick and straight away I could tell she lives and breathes theatre.

“She is a very busy woman and was in Cornwall working on Doc Martin at the time but we met in the Theatre Royal where I did preliminary drawings and took pictures.”

Mr Fisher has been a successful freelance artist and designer for almost 40 years. After completing four years at the West of England College of Art in 1970 he started his business working from home.

During the next two decades he picked up a lengthy list of national and international customers including a commission from Trusthouse Forte, resulting in some of his most well seen pieces of art – his creation of 14 murals, all more than 60 feet long, for Welcome Break motorway service stations across the UK.

After 30 years working in the corporate field Mr Fisher now paints subjects of his own choice and commissions. In 2003 his painting Friend or Foe was a finalist from among 10,000 entries in the Daily Mail’s Not the Turner Prize competition.

He has also won the award for the most popular picture in show eight times at the Bath and West art show.

The painting of Cole is the first painting Mr Fisher has completed in two years.

He added: “I didn’t paint for two years while I was fighting cancer but now I am painting with a vengeance.

“I see life through different eyes now. At the time it was life threatening but thanks to the NHS I am much better.”