Born in Burma, Heath lived primarily in London. In January 1939 he is first mentioned in attendance at the FORBES SCHOOL, though he had been attending since the previous year. He remained for four months in 1939, working in the Forbes studios, before going on to the Slade and shortly thereafter was evacuated to Oxford. In WWII he served in the RAF and was imprisoned in Germany. While a prisoner of war he met Terry FROST and gave him initial lessons in art. Returning to his art studies at the Slade from 1945-47, he travelled and visited St Ives in 1949 and again in 1951. There he met Ben NICHOLSON and Barbara HEPWORTH and became more abstract in his own approach to his work.
In 1948 he had his first solo show in France, at Carcassone, and his first in Britain in 1953 at the Redfern. In that time he had moved from representational painting to an abstract style which became his own for the remainder of his life.
Aside from his painting, primarily his life was one of teaching, initially at the Bath Academy of Art, Corsham and then the University of Reading, Sussex University and ultimately at the Glamorgan Institute of Higher Education. He died in France.
Born in Coulsdon, Surrey, he studied at South Kensington, Croydon and Westminster, and also Antwerp before attending the Forbes School in Newlyn in 1899. He lived and worked variously at Paul, Newlyn, Polperro and Lamorna, and married fellow student Jessica DOHERTY in 1910.
They built their family home at Menwinnion, near Paul in Cornwall. Heath served with Royal Fusiliers in WWI, and suffered poor health and depression for the rest of his life as a result of being gassed in France in 1915. His closest ties were to Newlyn Society of Artists, and he exhibited with STISA irregularly.
Isobel Heath was born in Yorkshire, and studied under William Ritson, Robert Blatchford and at Colarossi's in Paris before going to Leonard FULLER's St Ives School of Painting in the late 1930s. She first exhibited on Show Day in St Ives in 1940.
She was married for a time to Dr Marc Prati, the political correspondent to La Stampa of Turin, whom she met when he was a prisoner of war. By him she had a son. Isobel painted in watercolours and produced some large figure paintings in oils; she also made a number of pencil portraits.
During WWII she worked for the Ministry of Information, drawing and painting factory workers in the munitions and camouflage factories. It was also at this time that she completed a number of pencil portraits of American troops and local characters. According to Tovey, these wartime works are some of her best.
In Cornwall, Isobel lived at Bosun's Nest, Carthew, near Clodgy, St Ives. Resigning from STISA in 1949, she became a Founder member of the breakaway group, The Penwith Society of Artists. Isobel did not remain for long, resigning in 1950 due to the A,B,C group system which she declined to join - alongside Peter LANYON, Sven BERLIN and others. She rejoined STISA in 1957, exhibiting with them for the rest of her life.
Her studio was in Custom House Lane, St Ives but she often spent days out on the moors painting, staying overnight in her van. She published three books: Passing Thoughts (1971), Love (1973) and Reflections (1978). She died in St Ives.
She was born in Bandon, County Cork, where her father had been Agent to Lord Bandon's Irish estates. Upon retirement, the family moved to Cornwall, buying 'La Pietra' on Paul Hill, Newlyn, the former home of Lionel Lea Townley BIRCH and his wife Constance Mary BIRCH.
Jessica was keen to learn painting and enrolled at the FORBES SCHOOL in 1901-2. She met Frank Gascoigne HEATH, an artist who had settled locally, having himself studied at the school, and they married in 1910. They set up their home initially in Polperro, and had two children by the time Jessica's father paid for them to build their own home, 'Menwinnion', at Lamorna in 1912. They subsequently had another two children.
In WWI Frank was seriously gassed and his health never fully recovered. With heavy family commitments, looking after their children and assisting Frank, she had very little time for painting, but she did exhibit in the mid 1930s.
Nancy Lilian Heath (known as Nan) was born in north Staffordshire. At Brownhills High School in the Potteries she excelled at art and music. In 1943 she gained her teaching qualifications from Hereford Teacher Training College. Thereafter she taught for 28 years in Wolstanton, living at home with her mother in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. The school choirs which she trained won awards on two occasions. In 1952 she took a year out from teaching to study at the Bath Academy of Art, which helped her to develop her own particular artistic style.
In the late 1960s Nan first visited the Isles of Scilly on a painting holiday. Returning in 1971, while staying at a guest house on St Mary's, she fell in love with Frank Smith. The couple were married later that year and Nan moved to St Mary's soon after. She continued to paint under her maiden name. Nan's flower-filled watercolour landscapes and seascapes proved so popular that prints of them were produced, to fulfil the demand. In 1989 Frank and Nan opened Nan Heath Studio Four close to their home.
Solo exhibitions of Nan's work were held in the Potteries in 1975 and 1977. Several shows were held over the years at the Isles of Scilly Museum. In 1992, two of her original watercolours were accepted for the annual Royal Academy of Art Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.
Nan's death at the age of 72 was received with widespread shock and sorrow. Her widower Frank Smith died in 2009.
The 1891 Census lists him as an Artist, born in Headingley, The West Riding of Yorkshire and living at Blue Bell House, St Ives. Tovey sums up his Leeds background as the son of a wine merchant, whilst William was a financially embarassed woollen merchant whose father bailed him out with an annuity, allowing him to take up art instead. He leased the Blue Bell Studio and its yard in St Ives, only to find himself in disputes with locals over rights of way and fencing, etc. His work in art appears to be unregarded and unrecorded, though he belonged to the Arts Club for some period, and was Secretary of the Parish Church Club. He took an active part in the 1892-93 Carnival Masquerades in the town.
Hebblethwaite's prime gift to the St Ives Community appears to be in the way of helping to change attitudes toward not only women's rights, but also and even more strongly to animal welfare (see Tovey, pp340-1). His particular objectives were to prevent the wanton cruelty 'that was often inflicted upon birds and animals by the locals, especially by the children of the fisherfolk' who amused themselves by shooting gulls along the cliff and harbour. The setting of baited hooks, and the maiming of birds that followed this practice was appalling to him, and the RSPCA action in 1917 brought about a cessation of the practice. He also supported action to summon boys for cruelty to ponies and donkeys.
'Hebblethwaite was very much ahead of his time on this issue, and Hudson [W H Hudson, The Land's End] indicated that he found at least twenty people to tell him Hebblethwaite's story and to praise the beneficial impact that he had eventually had.' (Tovey, p341)