My love of Europe and its amazing culture began in 1963 when I was 18. My neighbours were travelling by car to Spain and offered to give me a lift to France, dropping me off near Chartres. I hitch-hiked to Paris and booked into a hotel. I spent 10 days walking around Paris and visiting the Louvre and many other galleries. I saw for the first time many impressionist and post-impressionist paintings I had recently studied for my A-level Art History. In the Museum of Modern Art I was bowled over by the huge abstract expressionist works and was an immediate convert to abstract art. My money ran out and I hitched back home.
Later that Summer, with £25 in my pocket I embarked on a 6-week hitch-hike tour of Europe, travelling through France, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium. I met many interesting people and had lots of adventures on the way, staying in youth hostels where I could, or sleeping rough in fields or even people's back gardens!
In Athens I attended several performances set on the Acropolis as part of the Athens Festival. In Abruzzo, Italy I slept in an olive grove, and I am now the proud owner of a large olive grove myself, attached to my house set in the moutains of Abruzzo. In Brindisi, Italy I picked up a letter from my Mum informing me of my A-level results. I had achieved 5 A-levels and knew that I would be now going to Art School on my return.
Since then I have been a regular traveller in Europe, particularly France and Italy, and organised a series of artist exchanges/residencies at the Chateux De Sacy, France and at Kleinbreitenbach, Germany.
My 8 ft high artwork on the Kleinbreitenbach Sculpture Trail.
Artwork by Ronald Suffield at the Chateux De Sacy artist residency, part-organised by Steve Downey.
I now live part of the year in my wonderful house in Abruzzo, Italy, where I have established an art studio. When there I am very productive in creating dozens of artworks which I bring back to the UK in my car.
My house in Abruzzo, Italy, where I create a lot of my artworks.