Tributes paid to inspiring nationally renowned Suffolk artist Roy Freer

Roy Freer was an artist from Sudbury, Suffolk

Artist Roy Freer from Sudbury - Credit: Sally Freer

Tributes have been paid to a passionate award-winning artist from Sudbury who has died at the age of 82. 

Mr Freer, who passed away on March 3 has been described as "no ordinary painter" as his work ranged from watercolours and oil paintings to specially-commissioned illustrations of helicopters, paintings of Ireland for the shell calendar, and a depiction of the snooker final between Steve Davis and Jimmy White.

The artist's wife and two sons plan to publish a commemorative archive of his work at a later date. 

Mr Freer, whose funeral was held on March 29 at West Suffolk Crematorium, had his work exhibited in many well-known galleries and institutions around Britain, including the Mall Galleries in London.

Although he was best known as a painter in oils, he was also a very talented Fine Artist whose drawing skills were greatly admired by the art world. 

Mr Freer was born in 1938, the youngest of nine children, and attended an art school. For his National Service, he served with the RAF as a medic, and was posted to Singapore, where he made and sold portraits of the officers and men at the base.

The artist went on to teach and run projects nationwide and was much loved by his students. One of his students, Salliann Puttman, artist and friend, said she was "privileged to attend a number of his courses and came away totally inspired".

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Mr Freer carried on his painting after he and his wife moved to Sudbury. He took a keen interest in Sudbury arts projects including exhibiting and supporting fundraising auctions at Gainsborough's House.

Mark Bills, director of the house, described him as "a great supporter and a talented artist to boot".

Mr Freer was also invited to become a member of The Pastel Society, and membership of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and the New English Art Club, soon followed. 

Right up to his death Mr Freer would be found working in his studio, driving for perfection of composition, colour and tone.