Derbyshire landscape artist John Straw is auctioning part of his 'gold-dust' collection

A renowned artist who captured the beauty of Derbyshire in his landscapes is selling his prized collection.

Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 3:47 pm

John Straw has continued painting into his late Seventies despite having Parkinson’s Disease.

The 79-year-old artist and his wife Jill are moving from Mickleover to be closer to family in Warwickshire and the downsizing of their home means that paintings have to be sold.

More than 50 of John’s creations will go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers saleroom in Etwall on June 20.

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One of John Straw's landscape paintings.

But before that, the artist will attend a viewing event and give a short talk at the saleroom on Friday, June 17, from 2pm to 3pm. People who are interested in bidding on John’s artwork can book a free place.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “This is a unique opportunity to buy an original John Straw painting, many of which celebrate Derbyshire’s rural magnificence. They are a precious reminder of Derbyshire’s beauty, created by an outstanding artist who has put his heart and soul into capturing the magic of this county.”

The original framed paintings include View Towards Wirksworth, Overfields, Brailsford, Beresford and Lane to Alstonefield.

Unframed original painting include Woodland Walk, Markeaton; 12 international calendars featuring John’s art, a Crown Devon plate bearing a painting of Quarndon and sketch books containing pencil portraits of around 200 well-known politicians and celebrities.

John Straw's painting of Quarndon.

But they are just a fraction of Derby-born John’s output. He has painted around 3,000 original pictures in a career spanning more than 50 years. His work is displayed all over the world and has adorned numerous calendars and magazines.

He held his first solo exhibition in 1975 at Derby Guildhall and became a full-time professional artist in 1978 when he bid farewell to accountancy.

Initially John made his name as a bird artist but his depiction of the countryside made landscapes his foremost subject.

For 26 years he held annual art shows at his home studio in Mickleover. In addition, John sold work at craft fairs across the country including events at Buxton Pavilion, Calke, Elvaston and Derby Assembly Rooms.

John Straw in his art studio in Mickleover.

John was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease 20 years ago and gave up painting because of the severity of his tremor. This gradually improved with medication and a fellow patient persuaded him to try painting again. John found that he had far better control with a brush than a pen so began another phase in his career.

In 2015 and 2016 he submitted work to the Parkinsonʼs Disease UK Mervyn Peake Awards and had work exhibited at London’s Kings College and the OXO gallery on the South Bank. His 2016 painting of three sparrows prompted the charity to ask him to paint a Christmas Robin for their Christmas

card catalogue. He’s designed a Christmas Robin card for Parkinsonʼs ever since. The 2022 card will be available from July.

Charles said: “It is a privilege to manage the sale of his private collection of paintings and sketches. This gold-dust archive showcases John’s creativity

and talent through the decades.”

John said: “I would like to say a huge thank-you to everyone who has enjoyed my art and made Derbyshire life so special for both myself and Jill.”

To book a place at the John Straw art preview on June 17, email Rachael Morley: [email protected]