Born Carlisle 1940. Raymond Higgs studied at Carlisle College of Art 1956-61 Painting N.D.D. where he was taught by Jack Seabury. From there he gained entry to the R.A Schools, graduating Dip R.A.S, 1961-64. He was influenced and helped by William Scott R.A.
Whilst at the Royal Academy Schools he was recipient of: 1st Landseer Prize and Silver Medal 1962, Eric Kennington Drawing Prize 1962, Richard Jack Prize 1963, The Royal Sovereign Drawing Prize 1963, Awarded a Rome and Abbey Minor Scholarship in Painting 1966.
In London he met the artist Jenny Cowern, with whom he spent the rest of his life. He was also supported by Jenny’s father, R.T.Cowern RA, RE. They moved to Cumbria in 1966, where they renovated dilapidated farmworkers cottages and made them into their studios and family home.
Over the years both Raymond’s and Jenny’s work developed. Here Raymond describes this in his own words:
“Trained and practised as a painter, I have since 1981 concentrated on relief printmaking as the medium where I could best explore my interest in colour, in multiples. Particularly I find interesting the restrictions of the reduction method of making prints. I have moved on from making large lino prints using the reduction method, to engraving small endgrain wood blocks.”
Although they never collaborated, they supported and influenced each other’s work until Jenny’s death in 2005. He continued to explore colour using the wood reduction method for the rest of his life. His last print was ‘Warp and Weft’, completed in 2016, before his final illness.
He was a regular exhibitor at Printfest, missing only one year. In 2017 he was too ill to exhibit in person, but the Printfest Committee asked his family to exhibit on his behalf. At the end of the exhibition his family was presented with a certificate signed by all the artists to the ‘Father of Printfest’.