Begonias
By Mary Newcomb

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Year
1997
Subject Matter
Still Life and Flowers
Reg. Number
G809
Size
89 x 84 cm

This artwork is typical of Mary's style, which on first view seems to favour a Fauvist treatment of colour and shape over representational or realistic values. There is an emphasis on painterly qualities, evoking dynamism through strong, vibrant colour. On closer inspection one can see the artist has an accurate respect for the species of begonia and demonstrates a sophisticated knowledge of the distinguishing features of the plant.

Described by many as a lyrical painter, Mary's poetry in paint depicts various scenes of country life. Mary attained a Science degree at Reading University, but first began to draw nature at Flatford Mill Field study Centre in 1945. With no formal artistic training her intuitive painting style was highly personal and recognisable. Her firm knowledge of natural science, combined with an intense observation, produces work that highlights subjects that may have previously gone unnoticed. This intensity of study is characteristic of her working.

Mary was inspired by the rhythm of nature and rural life and her evocative painting style led for a natural collaboration with creative writing. Mary found a kindred spirit in the East Anglian author, Ronald Blythe and his words and her drawings combined memorably in a book of essays entitled 'Borderland.'

Mary's success was praised by Ben Nicholson and her art was collected by a widespread audience from film directors to business magnates, all recognizing the beauty in depicting the moments that may be bypassed with haste.