It was as a child that I first fell in love with the paintings by Beryl Cook who sadly died on Wednesday aged 81. There was something magical about her paintings and their depiction of happy, well covered individuals such as dustbinmen, girls night out, and tenerife days. Her self-portrait is well known too. Beryl Cook communicated to me through her art in a way many other artists have failed to do maybe because she combined humour and pathos in the same image.
Emile Zola said that "The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work". Therein lies the truth we can be given many innate gifts but only those who recognise their gifts and work to hone and improve them achieve great things.