Dear members and past members, it is with sadness that I have to pass on the news that one of our Founder Members, Harley Crossley, died two days ago. He had been ill for some time and died at home, aged 77 after some time in a hospice. I only met him a couple of times but admired his work very much, and he was such a nice man. He painted with oils, using a palette knife, working incredibly quickly; I remember having an exhibition stand opposite his at a National Rally - think it was the first Beale Park one; He would have his easel and paints out and would finish a painting in a morning - and probably sell it still wet that afternoon, then crack on with another one! His work was very sought after, but painterly too and very subtle in his use of colour. He often brought alive historical scenes from old post-cards.
From Sheila Bury
I am very sad to hear Harley Crossley has passed away. I remember his wonderful paintings at those early exhibitions in the marquee at Stoke Bruerne. A very talented painter
and a very nice person.
From Brian and Janet Collings
It seems a long time now since a few of us all sat around after one of the Stoke Bruerne Artists' Weekends and floated the idea of forming a Guild of Waterway Artists. Harley was one of the regular exhibitors. He was always conspicuous on those occasions by the groups of people standing around him or frequently returning to view progress as a new image grew before their eyes. Without doubt he was a wizard with a knife, and readily conveyed his thoughts on what he was producing to those watching him work. He never failed to amaze me, anyway!
His other speciality as I recall was Ocean Liners, handled in the same way as his other paintings.
The Guild grew, new and different venues were attended and membership changed, bringing a greater diversity of art to a wider audience. At most of the events where artists were invited, the familiar campervan would appear, Harley would "do his bit" and then be off elsewhere to gain more ideas or to attend another show. He will be remembered by many.
The waterways have changed and a lot of water has gone under the bridge. Since those early days that led to the forming of the Guild, a lot of paint will have gone under Harley's knife.
His legacy hangs on many a wall and in the minds of those who knew him .
Brian and Janet
From Eric Gaskell
What sad news. Obviously I never knew him, but have just had a look at his work on a number of sites. Although his particular figurative style is not my cup of tea - what a wonderful technician, he really knew how to paint didn't he. Shame he as gone, but his hard work means we should try all the harder to keep, what he initiated, going.
From Helen Harding
I am so sorry to hear about Harley. He used to come to Braunston to exhibit regularly when I organised the exhibitions at the Stop House and he was an amazing painter. As Sarah has said he could whip up a painting in literally an hour or so and it would be masterly. He did one once for us of The Stop House and I watched as he did it. I believe it is still there hanging in the office. He was a lovely man and interesting to talk to but his paintings appealed around the world so it was natural he would move on from the Guild. We were lucky to have him as a founder.
From Louise Moore
Very sad news to hear of the passing of one of the Guilds founders. What a wonderful body of work he has us left to remember him by.