Gareth Jones obituary

Other lives: Painter, printmaker and teacher to artists in Wales and Suffolk

My friend and brother-in-law Gareth Jones, who has died aged 77 of obstructive pulmonary disease, was an inspirational teacher, painter and printmaker. He has left a legacy of traditional printmaking in east Suffolk, where he founded Sudbourne Park Printmakers.

His work reflected his love of the contrasting landscapes of Wales and Suffolk.

Born in Kennington, Oxfordshire, Gareth was the son of Gwyn Jones, a senior technician for Shell-Mex, and his wife, Mary (nee Black), who ran a nursery school. Both parents had family roots in Wales.

Gareth attended Copleston Road school, Ipswich, and then Ipswich School of Art. By the time he was 18 he had had two paintings accepted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Gareth’s tutor and mentor, Gerald Woods, introduced him to etching, and so began his life-long love and mastery of the medium – and his passion for collecting antique printing presses.

Laugharne, a print made by Gareth Jones in the 1980s
Laugharne, a print made by Gareth Jones in the 1980s Photograph: Gareth Jones

In 1966, after working as a technician at Loughborough College of Art and the Slade, in London, with Anthony Gross, Gareth moved to Watford School of Art. There he met a student, Vicky Parkin. When she went to Bath Academy of Art, Gareth followed her, becoming technician at Gloucestershire College of Art. He became a member of the Printmakers Council, exhibited in galleries in London and New York alongside Gross, Julian Trevelyan, Michael Rothenstein and Norman Ackroyd, and was represented in 1968-69 at the first Print Biennale in Bradford, one of the judges being David Hockney.

Gareth and Vicky married in 1971 and three years later moved to west Wales, first to an old woollen mill and then a crumbling mansion in Llangrannog on the Ceredigion coast. They brought it back to its former glory and established a successful print studio where Gareth not only produced his own work but ran residential courses and was in demand to print editions for other artists.

Moving to Ufford in Suffolk in 1989, Gareth taught a growing number of students who gradually coalesced into the Ufford group. Some were established artists; all were eager to learn the traditional skills of printmaking.

In 2002 the workshop moved to larger premises at Sudbourne Park, near Orford, and the Ufford group became Sudbourne Park Printmakers. Over the years, more than 75 artists have passed through the Ufford and Sudbourne groups, many others have undertaken workshops there, and countless children from local schools have learnt the delights of getting inky fingers.

Gareth is survived by Vicky and their daughters, Tonwen and Emma, his grandchildren, Havana, Brooklin, Elwen and Romanie, and his sister, Angela.

Sean Thompson

The GuardianTramp

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