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The self portrait shows Howard in his studio, a brush resting in his hand, his unseen left hand maybe raised in the act of painting. Though informal in his open-necked white shirt, the artist is upright in posture and seems self-absorbed. Daylight streaming from a window hews out strong facial features. His eyes seem impenetrably dark. The sensual mouth is still. The face gives little away.
During the war, Howard sketched in the air-raid shelter beneath a factory. He studied at Hornsey School of Art and the Royal College of Art. He spent six weeks travelling in Spain, immersing himself in Velázquez’s works and Goya’s black paintings.
'Ulster Crucifixion' (1978) was awarded a prize in the John Moores exhibition. Howard has produced diaphanous watercolours of Venice and of Cornish beaches. Howard says, ‘I love painting the model with the light coming through her hair or just catching down the body’.
oil on canvas
H 61 x W 31 cm
acquired by Ruth Borchard as part of the original collection