Eugene Richard Sturgeon was born in the village of Drayton, near Langport, Somerset on April 14 1920. He was the third of eight children. His love and talent for art were evident at an early age and encouraged by his art teacher. Dick Sturgeon left school at the age of fourteen in the midst of a depression. Any employment was welcome and there were certainly no thoughts of pursuing a career in art at that stage.
In 1940 Dick enlisted with the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry stationed at Bodmin Barracks. In 1942 Dick was captured outside Tobruk and was transported to a camp called Cadua. The waiting was intolerable and Dick tried to relieve the boredom by sketching portraits of his fellow prisoners, sometimes using photographs carried by his comrades.
At the end of the war, with a great deal of help from the Camp Colonel at a resettlement camp, Dick secured a placement at Taunton Art College and this led to his first job as a commercial artist with a local newspaper.
In 1970 Dick held his first one-man exhibition in a Langport gallery. The event was most successful - every painting being sold. A chance visit by a representative of a leading London publishing company led to the production of a number of Limited Edition Prints. Demand for his work then grew rapidly.
In the eighties a partnership was formed with Mo Little resulting in the formation of Barrymore Publications. In 1987 they produced a limited edition book of 1500 copies - “Sketches and Watercolours by E.R. Sturgeon”.
Dick Sturgeon was a very popular and gifted artist. He is particularly well known for his rural village scenes but the range of his work is broad and varied. His work is held in the highest esteem and has been exhibited in galleries throughout the world.
After a short illness Dick died on the 5th December, 1999. He was still working until two or three days before his death, producing work of the highest standard. As a mark of respect the following year Mo changed the company name to Sturgeon Publications. They continue to promote and publish his work. It is unfortunate that he just missed out on seeing his work printed using the giclee process. Undoubtedly it would have given him a great deal of pleasure seeing his work reproduced to such a high standard.
Dick was a talented artist and a wonderful character. Although sadly missed he has left behind a truly remarkable legacy to admire and enjoy!