Hartlepool artist who has attracted Royal attention revisits painting to add topical touch

An artist who grew up in Hartlepool and whose work caught the attention of Her Majesty the Queen has returned to one of her local paintings to add a topical touch.

Saturday, 21st May 2022, 4:45 am
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2022, 11:22 am

Deborah Ryle, 66, received a letter from Buckingham Palace with a request to keep the Queen informed of how her new art business was going shortly after becoming self-employed in November 2003.

Deborah, who went to St Joseph’s Convent, in Victoria Road, as a child, decided to make the move after quitting her job with the NHS.

The former secretary was encouraged to enrol into art courses and decided to paint Prince Charles to show she could portray recognisable people.

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A portrait of Prince Charles by Deborah.

Deborah says the pencil drawing took her four and a half hours and that she sent the Prince of Wales a copy of the artwork and wrote to the Royal Household as well.

She says that in 2004 she received a letter from the Queen’s lady in waiting with a special request.

"There was the postman beaming at me and I had a letter from Buckingham Palace,” said Deborah.

"The Queen had made a special request that she be kept informed how the business went.

Deborah in New York in 2019 with art critic Jerry Saltz.

"I thought that was a request I can’t refuse. She has a few of the drawings I have done.”

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The mum-of-three was born in Hertfordshire and came to live in Hartlepool with her parents Edward and Priscilla Higgins in 1957.

She moved back to Hertfordshire in 1985 and lived in Germany for five years.

An abstract artwork of Seaton Carew painted by Deborah.

Hartlepool, however, has remained present in her work.

The grandmother-of-ten, who now lives in Wiltshire, said: "It would be nice to come back to Hartlepool,”

Deborah, who exhibited at The Pavilion in New York in 2019, added: "I’ve had an awful lot of other jobs, but my actual art, I have stuck at, through and through.

Deborah with her daughter Victoria, 42.

"There have been weeks where I have only had a fiver to live off.

"But I have really pushed ahead with my art work and now it looks as though I’m getting somewhere.”