[Alethea Garstin - Little Farm Place, c.1952 - Oil on board]
Alethea was the daughter of the Newlyn School artist Norman Garstin, but went on to forge her own career and reputation as a central figure amongst the later group of artists. The St Ives modernist painter Patrick Heron called her 'England's leading Impressionist painter'.
[Marjorie Bruford - The Gypsy Camp - Oil on canvas]
Midge Bruford was born in Eastbourne, but was educated at Badminton House girls’ school in Bristol where she became friendly with Mornie Birch, daughter of the artist S.J.‘Lamorna’ Birch. It was probably this friendship which first brought her to Cornwall.
She started her artistic training at Stanhope and Elizabeth Forbes’ School of Painting, supplemented by informal tuition from Birch. She later studied at Harold Harvey and Ernest Procter’s painting school, and exhibited alongside Harvey on several occasions.
Apart from a period of study in Paris, Midge Bruford remained in west Cornwall, finally settling in Paul village, not far from Newlyn. She exhibited at the Royal Academy thirty-two times between 1924 and 1955, and also showed work at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; New English Art Club, and Goupil Gallery, London, as well as at Newlyn Art Gallery.
As well as being an artist, she also modelled for other painters, including Dod Procter who painted her several times.