Patrick Woodroffe

1940 - 2014

Patrick Woodroffe Biography

Artists UK - Patrick oodroffe prints posters and books

This is the artist Patrick Woodroffe bio and profile, not the lighting engineer !

Born in Halifax, England, in 1940, Patrick Woodroffe was already drawing enthusiastically at the age of six, yet as a professional artist he is self-taught, a graduate not in fine art but in the French and German languages. The European tradition of fantastic realism, both medieval (Grunewald, Bosch etc.), and modem (Dali, Hausner, Fuchs etc.), gave him his first real ambition: to paint into existence a world that had hitherto existed only within his own rather fertile imagination. Patrick Woodroffe left the teaching profession in 1972, the year schools went comprehensive and he never looked back, illustrating within a period of three years almost one hundred book-jackets and record sleeves.

One of the most incredible facts about Patrick Woodroffe is that he was almost entirely self-taught. An extreme perfectionist, he disciplined himself into an attention to detail and execution of the minutea of finest detail in his paintings that just leaves the viewer gasping. The usual reaction is, "How on earth can anyone paint so small?!" Patrick Woodroffe replied in his later years that once-upon-a-time he could do it without glasses ... and we all thought he was using a microscope!

Patrick Woodroffe has collaborated with several bands and solo musicians including Dave Greenslade (the retelling of the Pentateuch which is also available as the book ‘Second Earth’), Phil Collins, Judas Priest, Budgie, Mike Batt, The Strawbs, Mike Oldfield, Pallas and Didier Blons. Several highly successful exhibitions in London led in turn to a series of equally well-received books, for which he provided both text and images (‘Hallelujah Anyway’, ‘Mythopoeikon’ etc).

In 1989 Patrick Woodroffe was brought in as creature concept designer for the motion picture ‘The Never-Ending Story’ and then ‘The Never-Ending Story II’ (TV series). He undertook general design work for ‘Conte du futur’ (film project) and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (stage production, France etc.).

Patrick Woodroffe was in demand for several similar projects, some of them based on his own books. Convinced however, that the most beautiful films come not from books but from ideas that only the cinema can bring to life, Patrick Woodroffe then spent more time promoting original film projects of his own. These include:- Design and TV adaptation: ‘The Dorbott of Vacuo’. Screenplay and concept: ‘Your Place or Mine?’ Screenplay and concept: ‘Coloured Lights’. Stage Musical Adaptation: ‘Hallelujah Anyway’ (English and French versions). Stage play (English & French texts): ‘Victoria’s Magical Bed’. Musical Comedy (Design + French text only): ‘Le roi de Ia plage’. He has worked not only in the fields of sculpture (‘Le bouclier de Mars’ and “Le bouclier de Venus” — Gruyères Castle, Switzerland) and painting (a series of pictures intended for a major show), but also a project referred to as ‘Le prisonnier de Gruyères’, a small permanent exhibition in collaboration with Ilford AG forming the basis of a cultural link between Gruyères and Falmouth, Cornwall, a sort of twinning of the two castles. The next tour of Patrick Woodroffe's highly popular travelling exhibition ‘Pastures in the Sky’ followed in the years 2000-2001.

Patrick lived the latter part of his life in the south of England with his wife Jean who you would recognize as being the only female model he has ever used for his paintings. They met in their teens and married and lived together until his death in 2014.

Sadly in his later years Patrick developed marked aphasia and lost his ability to speak all the languages he spoke so well (French, German and Spanish) as well as finally his own mother tongue English.  Up until early 2013 he was still painting and drawing although his style had changed quite significantly.  He died on 10th  May 2014.  Patrick was certainly one of the most remarkable artists in the whole world with a style and technique that was totally unique.    

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