Russel Howarth has perhaps been the most geographically dedicated painter in the north of England over the past century. His 70-year commitment of unwavering effort to draw and paint the Saddleworth area of Oldham must be regarded as a great artistic compulsion.
He was born in 1927 and was competent in art at school, but his career path led him into engineering. He worked in the drawing office at a large firm and spent his spare time hiking the hills of his beloved Saddleworth, drawing and painting the scenes.
He never married or had children, which meant that his life was split between only working and painting. This allowed Russel the freedom to produce a very large body of wonderful, personal expressions of moorlands and villages in beautiful tones that reflect the landscape so well.
Over the years Russel has exhibited his work extensively in the north-west, including exhibitions at Tib Lane Gallery, Wendy Levy Gallery, Millyard Gallery and The Royal Northern College of Music. He has also exhibited in London at The Royal Society of British Artists.
In 2017 there was a 90th birthday retrospective for Russel at Saddleworth Museum and Art Gallery.