Eric Underwood (1946 - 2022)
After showing early promise at school, Eric won a scholarship to study fine art at the Walthamstow School of Art in London.
However, after that initial grounding he chose instead to enter the world of commerce, although continuing to paint in his spare time. After a financial career in the City of London’s insurance market, in 1988 he moved to the Canary Islands, where the mountainous landscape inspired him to devote more time to painting.
Then in 1990 a conscious decision was made to make an in-depth study of the special medium of watercolour. His recent work focuses on watercolour portraits and urban landscape; he travelled to San Francisco in 2003, producing a series of paintings commissioned by the IBA, which were shown that same year at the major conference.
Following on from that success, a 2005 trip to the historic city of Prague inspired a further series of watercolours.
During this period Eric also made excursions across Europe to Madrid, Venice, France and Spain, as well as trips to the American Continent which resulted in some particularly beautiful images from Vancouver.
In his later years Eric turned his focus back to documenting his home town of London; in particular his locale of Poplar, Docklands and the Lee Valley. The result is a collection of the most uniquely poignant watercolour pieces, which manage to perfectly encapsulate the evolving canal and riverscapes of contemporary London.
Throughout his life Eric also continued to develop as a keen and highly accomplished musician, focussing on the traditional folk music of the 20th Century, featuring the 'clawhammer' guitar picking technique. An album of Eric's original music can be heard on this site, and serves as a perfect audio backdrop to his visual work - particularly for the London pieces.
In 2021, having been diagnosed with terminal cancer, Eric commissioned this website to serve as a permanent gallery for his life's work. In February of 2022 Eric finally lost his long battle against cancer the same week as the website was being finalised. For that week, and for the first time in his life, Eric was able to see his finest work compiled and showcased in one place. This website is dedicated to the memory of Eric William Underwood and managed by his surviving life partner Eustaquio Neto, and his close friends Benedict and Katriona John.