As I get ready to say goodbye to England I have some mail to share with you regarding Mary Jewels the wonderful Cornish Artist I introduced you to over a year ago through my contact with Chris O'Brien of New York. Last week I received an email from an Englishman, Ian Mackenzie, a collector of C20th British self taught aritsts such as Mary Jewels. The email was accompanied by a photograph of one of Mary's paintings.
The painting is illustrated in Marion Whybrow's The Innocent Eye: Primitive and Naive Painters in Cornwall (Pallant Bookshop). The information in Ian Mackenzie's email to me states: Hand written on the rear of the frame is Mousehole, Mary Jewels but the letter of provenance from Mary's nephew suggests it is Newlyn Harbour. It's a delightful painting and illustrates so well Mary's superb attention to detail which is associated with the naive style used by her. The scene vibrates with the life on the water which is so typical of Cornish harbours. The cottages that stand in lines and frame the harbour remind me of a chorus in a Shakespearean play: not onlookers but very much an essential part of the narrative.
Ian also alerted me to the only other Mary Jewels paintings known to exist. These are owned by Austin Desmond Fine Art and below are images of these paintings.
Ian Mackenzie has a great deal of knowledge about another self taught aritst Fred Yates (1922-2008) also from Cornwall. I will definitely be bringing you, with the help of Ian, the works of this fabulous painter. But to whet your appetite here is a video to introduce you to the remarkable Fred Yates.