Roy Barley was born in 1935 and on leaving school he trained at the London School of Printing and Graphic Art. Studies included photographic retouching including airbrush work, graphic design and life drawing. After National Service (where he designed a number of RAF station badges in co-operation with the Royal College of Heraldry) he resumed his studies and entered an advertising agency as a general artist. He went on to further his career prospects and became an art director in one of London’s leading agencies. He designed the chequered flag box for ‘Kleenex for Men’ during the 60’s and was responsible for many major company themes. He started his own design agency with a colleague and counted a number of the leading advertising agencies as their client.
He left the advertising world to pursue his love of painting and was commissioned for a number of portraits including some of the golfing stars such as Bobby Locke, Gary Player, Sandy Lyle and Tony Jacklin (after his team’s successful Ryder cup victory) In 1985 he met Prof Claus Grimm, the German art expert who was compiling his book on Dutch still life painting. This was the catalyst which whetted his appetite to achieve an English version of a ‘Dutch Old Master’. His admiration for the old masters such as Willem Claesz Heda, Jan Davidsz and Cornelius de Heem, Willem Kalf and Adrean Coorte led him to study their work and learn about their techniques. To this day he is still experimenting with various mediums to improve the quality of his work which has resulted in sell out exhibitions.