PROMIINENT Malvern artist David Prentice died last week following a period of illness.

The 77-year-old was well known for his vibrant and evocative pieces of work which focussed heavily on the Malvern Hills, and he died at his home in Malvern Wells on Wednesday, May 7.

David started painting in Malvern back in 1986, making the drive from Northamptonshire, which inspired him to move to the town in 1990 and set up a studio in his home.

He enjoyed a daily routine of walking and sketching on the hills to get his creative juices flowing, filling book upon book with images captured in 10 to 20 minutes.

Speaking to the Malvern Gazette in July 2011, David said he developed a close affinity with the striking contours of the local landscape during the vast number of hours exploring the hills.

“I can virtually revolve the hills in my head because I have done an immense amount of work – thousands of drawings.”

He also described his move to the town as "giving up being David Prentice" because it marked a shift change in the subject matter he was interested in.

David had recently curated an exhibition entitled Skylight Landscape at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum, which brought together some of his work and that of Paul Nash, who is considered the most evocative landscape painter of the 20th century.

He was present at its opening on Saturday, May 3 and Philippa Tinsley, Worcester City Art Gallery curator, said: "David knew the hills in physical detail and his curiosity to discover more was strong. As well as brilliantly communicating the landscape in paint, he was also very skilled at writing about it."

Mrs Tinsley added:

"David’s own painting continued with great strength - his 2014 works are just as vibrant and powerful as his earlier work. He brought the landscape of the Malvern Hills alive - looking at his colours and brushstrokes is like a strong coffee for the soul.

"It was a privilege to work with him on the exhibition Skylight Landscape at Worcester City Art Gallery. To be able to share his paintings and his research with a wide audience is an achievement I am so pleased we managed to accomplish."

Born in Solihull, David both studied and taught at the Birmingham School of Art and then at Birmingham Polytechnic until 1986.

He was a founder member of the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham in 1963, and was a prize-winner in the Sunday Times/Singer and Frielander watercolour competition on four occasions, including first prize in 1990, which all featured the hills.

Skylight Landscape runs until Saturday, July 5, and the Foregate Street gallery has opened a book of condolence which will be passed on to David's family.

David Prentice is survived by his wife Dinah and their children and grandchildren.