I have written before in this blog about the Wilcote family, whose activities formed such a large part of the social life of North Leigh in the late 19th-century. Any regular readers will know a little about the younger daughter, Blanche, but her sister, Amy, was a far more serious character.
Like any well-educated young lady of the period, Amy enjoyed practising her artistic accomplishments. Remarkably, some of her work has survived and come into my possession, so I am fortunate to be able to show some of her paintings of scenes around the village. She was no 'wishy-washy' water colourist but had clearly studied many of the new works being produced by the major artists of the period, and she attempted to copy their styles.
Does that sky indicate that she has, perhaps, seen works by the post-Impressionists? More conventional perhaps, is her study of one of the farms that lie below the steep slope leading up to the quarries:
Her subject matter was not, however, confined to 'pretty' cottages and 'scenic' views but included the railway and the machinery associated with it. Indeed, she has been reported as expressing outlandish views, such as wishing to study engineering. History does not record how Sir John responded to such bizarre suggestions!
Perhaps her most remarkable achievement is her painting of a local train, headed by one of the Dean 2-4-0s, arriving at the station. it is such a pity that there weren't more artists like her, capturing the colours and atmosphere of the late Victorian railways.
I wouldn't like anyone to imagine that I myself have any ability with an artist's paint brush. I was looking at some of the work in the Forum Thread on Railway Art and remembered that I have a computer program called 'Dynamic Auto Painter'. Somehow, the software seems to have encapsulated Amy's spirit and has transformed some of my layout photos into her style!