Biddy Picard’s first view of Cornwall was
from the sea, when she arrived in a crabber after the War, and
this is often the viewpoint in her paintings – ‘Penwith
as a fist of land thrust into the sea, full of wildness, strength
and magic’. She has a strong sense of line and there is
humour in her own blend of still life combined with harbour scene.
Born in 1922 in Derbyshire, Biddy Picard attended Chesterfield
School of Art before training at the Slade. After a brief period
teaching art in Bristol she moved to Wales and then in 1974,
A longstanding member of the Newlyn Society of Artists, she has
also taught both painting and ceramics at Penzance School of
Biddy Picard’s work has been exhibited regularly at galleries
throughout Cornwall and also in the Midlands, the North of England
and London. Her paintings are widely collected and included in
many private collections in both the United Kingdom and Europe.
Of her work she says “I try in my painting to convey some
of the particular magic of West Penwith; the feeling of remoteness,
the intensity of light and the rapid changes of mood. Thrusting
into a restless sea, it is an “end place” where little
harbours cling to the stern granite rocks, for me a special land
unlike any other”.
Derbyshire born Biddy Picard studied at Chesterfield School
of Art and the Slade and then taught at Badminton School, Bristol.
During the war she met and married one of a group of conscientious
objectors seeking a simple, back to nature life style. Joining
the group in North Wales, she later walked down the Welsh coast
to Milford Haven and, after a chance sea passage in a French
crabber, arrived in Newlyn. With its brilliant light, blue seas
and skies and brightly painted and local French fishing boats,
West Cornwall seemed indeed a ‘foreign land’, - a
far cry from the dark mountains and valleys of North Wales.
And so began a new life in Cornwall, at first in Lamorna living
with her family in a gypsy caravan, cooking on campfires, washing
in the stream and often sleeping under the stars. Later in Mousehole,
she and her husband Bill Picard established the Mousehole Pottery
and Craft shop, selling both their own work and that of other
local potters and crafts people. She began making stoneware ceramics
sculptures, and was at the same time painting and drawing. She
exhibited at the Newlyn Society of Artists, becoming a committee
member, and also taught for a period at Penzance School of Art.
After a move to the moors near Paul, she established ‘Animal
Friends’ a successful business making stoneware ceramic
animals. Her own highly individual ceramic work also continued
to develop, becoming increasingly decorated as time went on.
Inevitably this led her once more to her original love, painting
on board and canvas, which she now concentrates on exclusively.
For Biddy Picard painting is like music, with its
to sing’, - colour and shape creating mood and atmosphere
in an attempt to capture something of the wildness, strength
and magic of this fist of land thrust into the sea, which is