Roger Corfe was born on 7th December 1912 in Maidstone and was educated at St Lawrence College Ramsgate where his art master strongly encouraged his interest in painting. His love of the landscape was clearly influenced at an early age by walking holidays in Scotland and Switzerland with his father.
The sheer number of sketchbooks from the pre-war years reveal an extraordinary sensitivity and act somewhat as diaries. Initially he spent much time exploring the North Downs and the area around his home, later exploring the West Country to walk, draw and paint making closely observed studies of buildings, trees and farming scenes. His sketch books at this time are filled with glimpses of countryside, both here and abroad and are an indication of his passion for travel and desire to pursue an artistic vocation.
On leaving school in 1930 his father was insistent he should have a ‘proper’ profession and in 1931 Roger enrolled at Guy’s Hospital, London to start training in dentistry but after a year he became disenchanted. From 1933 – 1935 Roger attended Heatherley’s School of Fine Arts in Fulham and in 1934 had a painting of Aylesford Bridge accepted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. With the threat of war looming Roger decided in 1936 to resume his dental training at Guy’s Hospital where in 1940 he met Dare, his future wife. During the blitz Roger’s Chelsea studio suffered severe bomb damage and much early work was destroyed but earlier that year his etching of Harlech Castle had been selected for The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
In 1944 Roger and Dare were married and on his demobilization in 1946 made their home in Northamptonshire where he spent the next 40 years as a school dentist and orthodontist to provide for his family. He continued to paint whenever he had the opportunity throughout his life on days out and family holidays always accompanied by boxes of paints and an easel. In 1975 he had a painting accepted by The Royal Oilpainters Institute in Mall Galleries London.
After his retirement from dentistry Roger embarked on painting full time often receiving commissions for his work including one for 3 pictures of local hunt countryside for P & O Shipping Line. His work always drew much interest wherever he exhibited and was seen widely including many one man shows in Northamptonshire as well as further afield. A retrospective exhibition ran from December 2007 to January 2008 at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.