|Jazz in the Winter, Beryl Cook Estate|
The exhibition also made me think how rare it is to see art by someone who so unashamedly enjoys life. She was obviously interested in partying, sex, clothes and food, in approximately that order, and there is not a shred of 'tortured-artist' ness going on anywhere. There is a sort of seaside 'dirty-postcard' look to her art, and although it ain't flattering to her subjects, they all look like they're enjoying themselves. Technically, as a cartoonist, she's brilliant.
Many of the paintings feature Plymouth and Bristol. I hadn't even realised, until I saw the exhibition, that she'd lived in Bristol for some years.
Although I don't desperately like Beryl Cook's paintings, I would have happily gone out drinking with her, any night of the week. She obviously loved her life, and she obviously loved painting, and there's something hugely cheering about this.
Beryl Cook: Larger than Life is on at Bristol City Museum until 29th August