Michael Frith (born 1951)
Michael Frith is one of this country’s finest watercolourists, who has reinvigorated the art of portraiture through works for exhibition and publication, notably for The Sunday Times.
Michael Frith was born in Kingston upon Thames on 26 March 1951. Studying at Canterbury College of Art, he graduated with a BA Hons in Graphic Design in 1973, and was appointed Art Director for the Daily Mail in 1977. While there, he held his first two solo shows (at Scribes Cellar, off Fleet Street, in 1977 and 1979) and made drawings of Jeremy Thorpe’s committal and trial for ITN Television. In 1981, he produced similar drawings of the trial of Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, for an international range of newspapers and television companies. In the years
1982-83, he worked on contract as an artist for the Daily Express, while teaching Life Drawing at Worthing College of Art, and mounting the first of three solo shows at the Zanzibar Gallery, London (1983 and 1988).
In 1988, Frith began his long – and still current – association with The Sunday Times by illustrating weekly food and restaurant columns (until 1997). At the same time, he began to illustrate the weekly interview column, ‘Out to Lunch’, for the Sunday Express Magazine (until 1992), and variously for both the Saturday issue of the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph (until 2002). Between 1995 and 2002, he was on the Panel of Judges for The Sunday Times/Singer & Friedlander Watercolour Competition, and has since defined the look of both ‘The
Rich List’ and ‘Profile’ for The Sunday Times.
Frith has held many solo shows in the last decade or so, showing most regularly at L’Artichaut Gallery, Chichester, West Sussex (1996, 1998 and 2002), Dumpford Farmhouse, Hampshire (1997 and 1998), and at his own studio at Marsh Farm Cottage, Earnley, near Chichester (1999-2003 and 2009). His first international solo show was held in 1997 at his studio at the Dockyard, Bermuda, while he was Artist in Residence.
With Caroline Reeves, Frith runs Spot Red Publishing.