Adored, talented Illawarra artist Robert Liddicoat dies

Everything Robert Liddicoat did he approached with vigour and energy, from his diverse and evolving artwork to bodyboarding at the beach with his three daughters.

A highly respected and well-known Illawarra artist, Liddicoat died on Monday, aged 76.

After growing up in the countryside, Liddicoat moved to Sydney at the age of 15 to study at the National Art School. During this time he rubbed shoulders with some of Australia's greatest artists, such as Godfrey Miller.

As a young artist Liddicoat took to the road to exhibit his work around the country.

Eldest daughter Mary-Jane fondly recalls growing up in a Kombi van, before graduating to a caravan, as her family travelled around Australia, and later Europe.

He later moved the family to West Wollongong, where he found inspiration in both the region's stunning scenery and its people.

Liddicoat was able to pass on his great knowledge and skill through teaching, and retired as a senior head teacher at the TAFE School of Art and Design in Liverpool in 1994.

Robert Liddicoat.

Over the years he experimented with and adopted several styles.

"He loved Cezanne, he absolutely adored Cezanne," daughter Mary-Jane said.

"The one thing about dad is that he just loved creating new things, so after a period he'd do a particular style that he'd investigate and take in various directions."

His work changed dramatically after visiting daughter Mary-Jane in Korea and the Middle East, where vivid colours took his eye.

"So having started his career very much influenced from the brown of the Australian outback he then suddenly became aware of colour and it became his passion in the last 12 years," Ms Liddicoat said.

Liddicoat will be farewelled at a ceremony at Figtree Anglican Church at 10am on Saturday.

Next April the Wollongong Art Gallery will hold a retrospective exhibition of his work.

Liddicoat is survived by wife Robyn, daughters Mary-Jane, Jenni, Emily and his grandchildren.

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