Art Kaleidoscope

Between art and craft

Naive Painting by English artist Beryl Cook

Naive Painting by English artist Beryl Cook

Naive Painting by English artist Beryl Cook (10 September 1926 – 28 May 2008)

Naive Painting by English artist Beryl Cook
Undoubtedly, there is a difference between an amateur and a naive artist. The amateur is engaged in painting for the sake of pure pleasure, and considers this occupation his hobby. However, a naive artist, not being a professional, continues to work and learns to use traditional techniques, but this does not mean that his painting is imperfect. In addition, the naive artist is more obsessed, and his lack of academic training often leads to the development of a bright individual style. And this is true with regard to Beryl Cook, who for the first four years of work became famous throughout the country.
Born 10 September 1926 in Reading, a bustling town 40 km west of London, Beryl Cook created her first picture only 37 years later. Happily married, she lived in the former Rhodesia, when she suddenly had the idea to draw a portrait of her neighbor – a large Indian woman. This portrait remained her only work until she and her family returned to England, where they settled in Cornwall, on the remote south-west coast of the country.

Naive Painting by English artist Beryl Cook

Escalator. Naive Painting by English artist Beryl Cook

And then, in a miraculous way, her style was born, full of natural humor, satirical, but at the same time benevolent. It depicts the weaknesses of human nature and the touching comic of everyday life. Themes for her paintings she draws in an active local life. In particular, the inhabitants of the city of Plymouth in Devonshire, sailors and tourists.

Her path to fame is phenomenal. It began with the fact that the local antique shop exhibited her several works. Then came the exhibition in Plymouth, Bristol and London, accompanied by the release of books and television programs dedicated to her.

According to the art critic of the London newspaper Evening Standard, Beryl Cook in many ways is the most remarkable thing that happened in British painting over many years …

Naive Painting by English artist Beryl Cook

Based on the article in the magazine Anglia, published for Soviet readers in February 1981 (78)