Jill BLYTH was born in Quidenham, Norfolk, the daughter of W D Blyth LL.D, ICS. Educated at Cheltenham Ladies College, she showed early promise as an artist. Taking up art on leaving school, in 1915 she came to Cornwall to study under Stanhope FORBES.
She lived with her mother at Myrtle Cottage, known as 'the Myrtage', run by Mrs Tregurtha and the home of many of the female students of the FORBES SCHOOL. She worked in portraiture, still life and embroidery. It was while she was a student at the Forbes School that she met her first cousin Geoffrey Sneyd GARNIER. They were married in 1917 in St Peter's Church, Newlyn, and settled in Orchard Cottage, Newlyn where they both had garden studios. They had three children - Peter (1918), Ann (1922) and Jeremy (1925).
Family responsibilities stood in the way of consistent work, but she continued to paint in oils and to design and create beautiful embroidered pieces; she was known to complain bitterly about the lack of time that a woman painter with a family could devote to her work.
The influence of Forbes in her portrait work is evident, and her works of Peter and Ann and the family dogs, dating from the early 1930s, are considered her best portrait groups. Nine of her oils were exhibited, all from private collections, at the Falmouth Group show in 1996.
Painter and embroiderer
works and access
Likenesses of the Artist: Photo in Hardie (1995, p90)
Works include: Two Gurnards on a Dish; Portrait of a Man; Vase of Flowers; French Crabbers; Farm at Tredavoe, Still Life with Teacups, Portrait of Peter and Ann Garnier; Portrait of Sarah Kitchen (Illus, Exh Cat, Falmouth); Camellias (1924); Children and Fruit (1925 ); Portrait of a Young Lady with a Plait (Illus, Public Cat p15)
NAG (1) Winter Exhibition of Arts and Crafts 1924, (1) Spring 1925;
STISA 1934 (her first), 1934, 1936, 1937 and 1951 Festival of Britain Touring Shows, 1953
Medici Society, London Coronation Exhibition (her last Medici Society) 1955
Falmouth Art Gallery Women Artists (Group) 1996
Penlee House, Penzance 7 Oct - 18 Nov 2000, Women Painters (Group) 2002, A Marriage of the Arts G&J Garnier Exhibition March 2010
misc further info
Berriman (1986) Chp on paintings and etchings-aquatints by Geoffrey & Jill Garnier [in] Arts and Crafts in Newlyn
Branfield (2010) Geoffrey and Jill Garnier, A Marriage of the Arts
Buckman (2006) Dictionary of Artists in Britain since 1945
Cross (1994) Shining Sands
I Green [in] Hardie 2009 Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall p78
Hardie (1995) 100 Years in Newlyn: Diary of a Gallery;
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall;
Hoyle, H (Sept 2010 Women Artists in Cornwall http://www.cornishmuse.blogspot.co.uk/ 'An Historical Perspective'
Holmes (1993) An Artistic Tradition;
Johnson & Greutzner (1975) Dictionary of British Artists;
Newton et al (2005) Painting at the Edge;
The Lamorna Society
Tovey (2003) Creating a Splash;
Wallace (2002) Under the Open Sky
Public Catalogue Foundation (2007) Oil Paintings in Public Ownership in Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly p15 illus