Renowned artist from the area dies, aged 67

ONE of the region's best know painter of landscapes whose work was sold all over the world has died aged 67.

Robert Ritchie, of Kenilworth Road, Ashington, died on July 30, the day before his wife Helen's 53rd birthday.

Despite a heart condition, Robert, also known as Bob, began painting as a hobby out of boredom, and soon started to sketch local landmarks and sites from coloured slides he took of the area.

All of his paintings were landscapes of the local monuments and places of interest.

His self-taught works in oils displays his inspiration gathered from the countryside where he would go walking, particularly in Berwick Moor and to parts of the Cheviot hills.

His paintings included those of Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick Castle and were exhibited and sold all over the world, in Spain, Canada, and Tokyo, as well as locally.

Although, Robert had an interest in painting from his early childhood, he was employed in a variety of jobs after leaving school, including farming and factory work.

His daughter, Tina Wilson, 40, of Alfred Avenue, Bedlington, said: "When he was in ill health for a while, he was only able to paint.

"He found he liked painting so much while he was working in his job at Remploy in Ashington, he decided to go self employed with his paintings in 1974.

"Then his paintings really took off."

He was born in Netherton Village in 1934, and along with daughter Tina, he had two granddaughters, Gemma, 18, and Hayley, nine.

People from as far as the Lake District came to attend his funeral, as well as business acquaintances from all over the north east.