Born in Southport, Merseyside, WORMLEIGHTON writes of him as one of the 'painters of light' in his admirable study, Morning Tide. His obituary noted especially his interesting family connections, one cousin marrying into the publishing Faber family, and another who became the mother of 'Charles Reade, the novelist, one of whose stories Stokes illustrated as almost his first commission.' One brother, Sir Wilfred Scott Stokes, was the inventor of the Stokes gun, and another, Leonard Stokes, an architect, designed Chelsea Town Hall, among many ecclesiastical and public buildings. The artist and writer on Cornish subjects, Folliott STOKES was his cousin.
Adrian studied at the RA Schools(1872-75) and in Paris. In Pont Aven Stokes met (1883) and a year later married in Graz (1884) the Austrian artist Marianne PREINDLSBERGER. With her he travelled in Denmark working with the art colony at Skagen, and then returned to Paris to work with Dagnan Bouveret in 1885. He made many painting trips to France pre-1900 working in the plein air manner and developing a naturalistic style.
The couple moved to Cornwall at the suggestion of Stanhope FORBES (1886), who had made friends with him in France. First they lived at Lelant, then St Ives. In 1891, they were staying as visitors with John and Alice WESTLAKE at Tregerthen Cottage, Zennor. Being one of the first generation of St Ives painters to arrive, he achieved recognition quickly when the Chantrey Bequest purchased his Uplands and Sky in 1888, a landscape painted near St Ives. The following year he exhibited a view of St Ives harbour at the RA. The couple departed St Ives in 1898 and worked first from 6 Edwards Square Studios, Kensington in London and later other addresses, while they travelled widely, painting in France, Spain, Austria and Italy and exhibiting steadily, returning to Cornwall on occasion and for summer months.
In 1903, the Chantrey Bequest purchased a second painting, entitled Autumn in the Mountains, a landscape in the Austrian Tyrol. His book about the techniques of landscape painting, including an analysis of earlier landscape artists, Landscape Painting, was published in 1925.
Stokes was an all-round personality, and interested in fishing, hunting, sports of many kinds - he distinguished himself on the St Ives cricket team - and the couple, he and Marianne had a wide circle of friends both in Cornwall and internationally. Amongst their closest friends were those of the John Singer SARGENT circle in Europe.
Joy Sefton is a watercolourist who has lived in Porthleven since 1953. She studied at the School of Art in Colchester before travelling extensively in the Middle East, where she has held four major exhibitions. Her paintings are held in collections in the UK, USA, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
Born in Austria, she studied art under Lindenschmidt in Munich, and won prize money there that enabled her to travel and study in France with Courtois, Colin and Dagnan-Bouveret. At the Atelier Colarossi in 1881 with Helene SCHJERFBECK, the two friends sought out the right places for 'plein air' social realism, and were attracted to Pont Aven in 1883. Marianne met Adrian STOKES there and married him the following year. Later Schjerfbeck would also follow the Stokes pair to St Ives. In 1891, while staying with the Westlakes at Tregerthen Cottage, Zennor, another guest was the great women's rights campaigner, Millicent G Fawcett, who was visiting from Aldeburgh, Suffolk.
Later, when the Stokes' moved on to London (after 1898), Marianne Stokes gave Alice WESTLAKE's London address for many years as her contact for submissions. Her portrait of John Westlake is in the National Portrait Gallery. Candlemas Day (1901) was purchased by the Chantrey Bequest for the nation in 1977. A tapestry, Honour the Women, is in Manchester. Along with Elizabeth Armstrong FORBES, Marianne Stokes was considered in the first line of women painters in England by the turn of the 19th century, and according to Sparrow 'has worked of late in that most stern and stubborn medium, tempera, and small things of hers in various exhibitions attract one always with the desire to know more of her most attractive work.'
The painting lives of Marianne and Adrian Stokes are fully explored in the 2009 publication, Utmost Fidelity, which appeared with the major retrospective of their work mounted simultaneously by Penlee House Gallery, Penzance, and the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro in that year, within a national touring programme. Magdalen Evans, the author and a descendant of Adrian, presented an illustrated lecture on 'The Portraits of and by Marianne & Adrian Stokes' at the National Portrait Gallery in February, 2010.
Floating German Dock in Falmouth Docks and two other oil paintings by this artist form part of the collection of the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth.
Hugh Stoneman was born in London and studied painting at Camberwell School of Art, and etching at W Hayter's Paris Studio, Atelier 17. In 1972 he set up the Islington Studio, followed by the Print Centre in Earlham Street (1979) and then due to Covent Garden re-development, returned to Islington at Barnsberry Street (1988).
Stoneman and his wife Linda moved their printing works to West Cornwall in 1995, and set up his working studio at their Madron farm, near Penzance. In the ten years that he unknowingly had remaining to him, his output was extraordinary, and the artists gathered around him, some following him from London and previous commissions, others local to Cornwall, excited to have professional facility of the highest standard on their doorsteps. All were interested in the power of the contemporary print to introduce and sustain a modern environment, whether commercial or domestic. His devotion to purpose, and passion for the medium of the print, with accuracy and flair, are qualities for which he is remembered.
In 2008 the Tate St Ives Gallery honoured his career with a retrospective exhibition and accompanying catalogue, Hugh Stoneman: Master Printer. From that publication, the true extent of his portfolio can be surveyed, and includes many of the most prominent of contemporary artists, past and present, Eileen COOPER, Ian McKEEVER, Patrick HERON, Breon O'CASEY, Tony O'MALLEY, Bob LAW, Karl WESCHKE to name but a few. Continuing their joint work to the present day, his wife Linda has established Stoneman Graphics, a contemporary arts gallery in Chapel Street, Penzance.
Andrew Stonyer gained the first PhD for studio-based research in the UK, at Leicester Polytechnic with the Slade School of Fine Art. He has taught in Turkey, Holland, Canada and the United States, as well as Falmouth College of Art. Concurrent to 2000, he was Professor of Fine Art at Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education.
Movement is the central theme of his work though he also produces static pieces. A major commission was completed for the Newcastle Metro, that was exhibited as Pulse in 2000 at Falmouth Art Gallery.
From the Cornwall Contemporary catalogue (2011): 'Dorset born Simon Stooks trained at Shelley Park School in Bournemouth (1989-1991) and graduated from Falmouth School of Art in 1994 with a BA Honours in Fine Art. He moved to the South of France in 2009 but frequently visits Cornwall where most of his painting inspiration lies. The majority of his landscapes are painted on visits to St Ives and around the coast of West Cornwall. He has work in many private collections both at home and abroad, as well as work in public collections...'
Mary Stork was born in Portsmouth, and studied at the West of England College, where her primary tutor was Paul FEILER. She studied further at the Slade School of Art, London, where she won major awards, and her paintings were toured with the Arts Council Young Contemporaries. At the Slade she met and married the West Cornwall artist Jeremy Le GRICE, and they returned to the county to live at St Just.
Here in Cornwall she met Karl WESCHKE who she credited with great influence on her work, and in 1966 the Hiltons arrived nearby. Mary and Rose HILTON became the closest of friends. Both of them abandoned art in the face of family responsibilities for many years. When Mary remarried after the break-up of her first marriage, she brought up her family in nearby Porthleven.
In 1982 she re-started painting professionally, and showing her work in small galleries including the Rainyday Gallery in Penzance. Mary became a member of the Penwith Society of Arts and also of the NSA. Meantime, she returned to live in St Just when her second husband died. Finally she moved into Penzance, living in the town centre and continuing to produce a steady stream of distinctive work, mainly mixed media (watercolour and charcoal) figurative pieces, much collected.