Walter A. Elliott was originally a qualified development/design engineer on rocket motors and aircraft gas turbine engines. He was elected Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society as a result of his contributions to rocket engineering and astronautics.
His interest in visual art stemmed from an early age. Although committed to his work in the aeronautical field, Walter Elliott still found time to enter the occasional painting competition or exhibition. Early in his career he won a first prize in an art competition organised by the aircraft industry. He gained a second prize in the following year.
He attended Art College in his spare time and studied stained glass window design at the Hammersmith Polytechnic, London. Gradually his interest grew until finally he decided to give up engineering in order to devote more time to art and painting. Later, his work was accepted by the Royal Institute Galleries, Piccadilly , London, and he was elected member of the Royal Institute Pastel society.
So that he could concentrate more on his painting and pastel drawing he subsequently moved to Devon. He has exhibited around the country and at the Mall Galleries, London, where he is a member of the Federation of British Artists. He is also a Director of Pilton Archway Galleries, Barnstaple an elected member of the Torbay Guild of Artists, a member of the International Association of art and President of the Ilfracombe Arts Centre, Ilfracombe, N. Devon. He is also included in the 1976 edition of International Who's Who in Art. A number of his paintings are in private collections in America, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
He says he prefers to paint rather than exhibit and admits he has not tried to exhibit his paintings as much as perhaps he should. However, in the two years he exhibited his paintings at the Devonshire County Show, Exeter, he won a 1st prize in 1973 and another 1st prize in the following year.
Many of his pastel paintings reveal a deep compassion for the suffering of mankind. His sensitive paintings of refugees typify this point and he admits also that it is his small private crusade to try to instill in people a more sympathetic understanding of others more unfortunate, especially those in the underdeveloped, overpopulated countries like India and war ravaged regions of the world.
One of his larger works (14' by 6'6") called the Ascent of Man, can be seen on permanent exhibition in the Elliott Gallery, Hills View, Braunton, North Devon.