A painter from Harrogate has been named as the Official Artist of the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014.
Alister Colley, whose Zeitgeist studio is in Pateley Bridge, has commemorated the historic sporting occasion being in his home county with the production of an official painting and 2,014 limited edition prints of his work – to celebrate the year of the event.
The painting features cyclists pedalling past 28 pan-Yorkshire locations and landmarks in an imagined landscape of rolling Yorkshire hills, and is painted in Alister’s typical style of blending acrylic paint with chalk and oil base pastels.
Alister said: “My wife and I honeymooned in the south of France in 2007, two weeks before the region was due to host their stage of the Tour de France. It was crazy - you couldn’t cross the road for amateur cyclists arriving well in advance of the Tour. Hotels, restaurants and cafes were packed with tourists and fans arriving early, and the enthusiasm was contagious. Unfortunately, we were due to leave and we felt we were about to miss out on an amazing party.
“So when we found out that the Grand Départ was to be held in Yorkshire, we were determined not only that we wouldn’t miss out this time, but that some how, some way we would love to get involved.
“Being privileged enough to have been chosen as the Official Artist of the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014 is exciting enough but to be depicting the county I have lived in all my life and with which my work has become synonymous is even more exhilarating and rewarding. I am very proud.”
Alister, who was recently shortlisted for the fifth consecutive year in the 2014 Fine Art Trade Guild Awards for the UK’s best-selling published artist, runs his Zeitgeist Fine Arts company with his wife Claire. He is one of only a very short list of self-representing artists ever to achieve such an accolade.
His most recent exhibition, ‘A Yorkshire Mixture’, began touring in December and is based on lesser known landmarks of Yorkshire, including Harrogate’s Royal Hall and Knaresborough’s Christmas Market. At the exhibition launch, prints of the Christmas Market image outsold all others by a ratio of 3:1.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “The quality of Alister’s work speaks for itself, but he won us over with his passion for Yorkshire and his passion for the Le Tour coming to our county.
“I am sure his piece will become a collector’s item for cycling fans around the world and possibly even some of the riders who take part.”
Limited edition prints of the official painting are available in two sizes retailing at £1100 and at £650.00. For details or to order, visit www.zeitgeistfineart.com