Edwin Straker was a British painter. Born in London in 1921, Straker began his artistic education at the Camberwell College of Art after winning a scholarship. The vibrant cultural environment proved formative for Straker, who became an active member of the social scene. Though Straker was deemed destined for great things, he onset of the Second World War halted the artist’s career. Whilst serving in the Merchant Navy, Straker continued to practise his skills, drawing his fellow seamen on their long voyages across the Indian Ocean and the North Atlantic and Mediterranean seas. After some time spent convalescing after the War, Straker returned to Camberwell College of Art to teach drawing before being appointed lecturer of design at what is now the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Straker was a gifted and dedicated teacher, playing a significant part in designing the first BA degrees in commercial art in Britain.
His desire to further his professional artistic career saw Straker establish his own studio in Newcastle, where he practised commercial art and design for a variety of different industries including those of architecture, advertising and fashion. Though achieving success through his design studio Straker steadily focused his efforts on painting once again, working in both oils and watercolours. The artist was accomplished in both portraits and landscapes, his wildlife and waterscape paintings gaining considerable acclaim throughout his career. He was invited to participate in the inaugural exhibition of the British Watercolour Society, and exhibited regularly throughout England. The artist died in 2011. His work remains in several private collections, including that of Blenheim Palace and the Duke of Edinburgh.