[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]
HITCHCOCK, Malcolm J. (1929-1998)
“Portmadoc from Morva Harlech”
oil on board / 6.7 inches by 12.6 inches
Morva Harlech (“morva” or “morfa” is Welsh for a marsh, hence Harlech Marsh) is on the Welsh coast facing Cardigan Bay, not far from Portmeirion, the synthetic village made famous by the BBC series “The Prisoner”. Portmadoc is the terminus of the narrow gauge Ffestiniog Railway, the picturesque sort of line which Hitchcock preferred to paint. This mid-century oil is in a late Impressionist style variation made famous by George Seurat. According to one on-line source:
Malcolm John Hitchcock was a painter in both tempera and oils. He was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, and received his art education at Andover School of Art. World War II led to his early withdrawal from his courses and he was apprenticed to a dental technician before serving with the Royal Army Dental Corps as his National Service. This led him to Singapore, amongst other places, where he was never without sketch pad or paint box. There followed a period of experimentation in both technique and subject matter, with Hitchcock eventually settling on the railway theme executed largely in a pointillist style.
He traveled extensively throughout Europe and became well-known for his pictures of narrow gauge steam trains. He exhibited in Düsseldorf, Brussels, Paris Salon, the Royal Academy and the Royal West of England Academy and his solo shows have taken place the Bramante Gallery, Ashgate Gallery in Farnham and Hiscock Gallery in Southsea. He married the author Zaidee Lindsay in 1984. His work is in the collection of Reading Museum and the Royal West of England Academy.
In the summer of 2018 Howard Tabor and a friend traveled from Llandudno to Minffordd, part of which ran on the Ffestiniog line to Portmadoc.