Cedric Titcombe obituary

·2-min read

My friend and one-time neighbour Cedric Titcombe, who has died aged 81, was an art teacher and artist who worked in many media, producing mostly paintings and drawings but also stone carvings, sculptures, prints, and even masks and kites. He was a painter of expressionist style, creating carnivalesque worlds that were full of raw energy.

Although Cedric’s pictures were shown at the Royal Academy in London in 1986 and 1987, he had little interest in becoming part of the commercial art world, and apart from occasional exhibitions in his home domain of Gloucestershire (including at the Gloucester Guildhall in the 2000s), he rarely if ever exhibited outside the county.

Born in Gloucester, Cedric was the only child of Charles, a telephone exchange supervisor, and Edith (nee Day), a housewife. At the Crypt grammar school his gift for art marked him out, and afterwards it was no surprise that he went to Gloucester School of Art.

There he met a fellow student, Janet Buttling, and they married in 1962, moving the following year to the Isle of Mull, although they returned to England when their first child was expected in 1963. Back in Gloucestershire, Cedric taught at Oakbank open air school, Oxstalls community school and Cheltenham School of Art.

In 1976 he and his growing family moved to Llanfair-Clydogau in Ceredigion, Wales, where he made a living by providing illustrations for Resurgence magazine, working as a delivery man for a range cooker company, and selling woodburners.

When his marriage to Janet ended in divorce in 1980, Cedric went back to Gloucester and took rooms above a bike shop. After a spell installing woodburners in Ludlow he settled in Gloucester for good, and with his then partner, Bailey Churcher, ran a company called Hedgehog Equipment, making and selling spinning carders.

In 1984 he painted the barge headquarters of Gloucester’s Courtyard Arts Trust and in 1985 set up the trust’s community print shop. He went on to organise summer exhibitions that showcased the work of Gloucestershire artists in Gloucester’s then-deserted dock buildings, returning to teaching in 1989 at the city’s further education college as well as its Guildhall Arts Centre.

Cedric also worked as a life-drawing model and carver of gravestones, and designed his own typeface, Titcombe Bold, although he was the only person who ever used it.

He is survived by the children from his marriage, Lucy, Cass, Ben and Sophie, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.