Beryl Cook exhibition at Museo Ralli in Marbella
The Museo Ralli in Marbella is currently exhibiting the work of English artist Beryl Cook. Beryl Cook was born in Surrey in 1926, but she lived in Plymouth in the south west of England for much of her life and she died there in May 2008. She started painting relatively late using her son’s paint set!
Her paintings depict some of the colourful characters she encountered in Plymouth where she was running a busy theatrical boarding house with her husband. Her talent was discovered when guests started to talk about the paintings on display at the boarding house.
She would paint on plywood, bits of wardrobe or anything else she could find around the house. A friend persuaded Beryl to sell some of her paintings and she was both delighted and surprised that they sold so well.
Her larger than life characters have become well known since her first exhibition in 1975. She was very well known and loved in her home county of Devon and despite not being accepted by the country’s major art galleries, she was painting for about 40 years.
Most art critics looked down their noses at her paintings. Despite this, the public loved them and in 2004 her characters starred in an animated BBC series called “Bosom Pals”.
Her paintings are full of flamboyant, colourful characters re-created in caricature form which is strange because Beryl herself was a very shy person who didn’t court the limelight. She never attended her gallery openings and didn’t even turn up at Buckingham Palace to receive her OBE.
Being a self taught artista, she prepared every picture with care and attention. They started as little sketches and they were often drawn behind her handbag whilst observing her subjects. She would then spend weeks on the painting, but she wouldn’t paint anyone unless they were obviously having a good time.
For Beryl, it was never about seeing her paintings hanging in major galleries. It was always about the enjoyment they brought to people.
Below are some of the paintings on display at the Museo Ralli in Marbella. We would certainly recommend a visit!!!