Have you heard of the artist Helen Bradley? She didn’t start painting until she was over 60. She wanted to show her granddaughter the memories that she had of her Edwardian childhood and the upshot was her book And Miss Carter Wore Pink. It was published in 1971 and I just bought a copy of it from a charity shop a few days ago. When I worked in libraries I was always having to rescue it from the nursery book boxes as people often thought that it was a book for kids and ‘helpfully’ relocated it.
In the book Helen Bradley tells the story of her childhood and the people who played a prominent part in it. It’s a really charming book although no doubt Helen Bradley was only painting her happy memories viewed through rose tinted specs. But maybe she did have an idyllic childhood. She said ‘The Edwardian period was lovely, gay and exciting, and I loved painting it, even the weather was kinder.’
Her style is primitive and deceptively simple looking. Her work has been compared with Grandma Moses and L.S. Lowry admired her work. In her 1970 art exhibition all of her paintings were sold before opening day.
You can see more images of her work here.