Henry Israel 22nd January 1933 - 24th December 2017
Henry was a truly great artist and teacher. We shared the same birthday but not the same year. He was strong and forceful but enormously kind - and very patient, if he thought you were serious. For over 30 years I regarded him as my mentor: he jostled on my shoulder, as I worked (and still does), with my brother John Martin and Cezanne - stern but wise mentors all.
He was classically trained at the Slade but not well known beyond a small circle of collectors and students in North Cornwall because he hated attention and fuss. I remember him once saying that he didn't paint in public because he wasn't a performer. This makes him sound a curmudgeon but he wasn't, he had a dark and mischievous East London sense of humour, which I think comes across in the photo above.
Our painting techniques, from widely different starting points, seemed to converge at the end; I felt that he came to me, but he would say the opposite of course. We had one exhibition together in Camelford in 2005: Henry's B&W photography and drawings, and my own very un-B&W paintings.
I miss him tremendously. His wife Caeria - also a fine painter - is missing him much more of course.