Featured artist

Marion Smart


I've always loved drawing from an early age. I was born in Northampton during WW2 and we lived with the grandparents; granny was an invalid and my dad had been posted to Burma with his regiment, so mum looked after us all. Being an only child, sometimes I had to amuse myself and resorted to pencils, crayons and any scrap of paper I could lay my hands on. I started primary school aged four and a half at St. Pauls C of E, Semilong, an old Victorian building (sadly demolished some years ago along with the church).

I passed the 11+ and in 1952 started at Northampton Grammar School for girls in St. George's Avenue Northampton. Classes were large in those days – most had over 40 pupils but everyone seemed to cope quite well. School uniform was compulsory and woe betide any girl caught not wearing a hat!! The Art Studio was a large airy room at the top of the school, ruled over by Miss Studer – a short dumpy woman with dyed-henna hair, who always wore black – but she certainly knew her stuff and we were taught to draw and paint “properly”! What I learnt there has stayed with me always.

On leaving school I worked for an insurance company in Northampton in the accounts department. There were no computers then – the books were kept manually and we had to add up in our heads.

When we married in 1960, my husband's work took us away from Northampton - first to Oxford, then Lincoln, then down to Cornwall, a beautiful place to live (both our daughters were born there). Four years later it was up to Wiltshire, then on to South Wales. Art took a back seat during this time, although I would draw for the children. We finally returned to Northamptonshire in the early 70s and came to live in Earls Barton in 1974.

I decided to take up painting and drawing again and enrolled at a class in the local school. Later I took to oils at a class in Weston Favell Upper School. Never having used this medium before I found the textures and colours great.

My husband died in 2005 and, in effort to get out more, I joined an art group based in Carey Baptist Church in Moulton, and actually moved to live in Moulton a while later. The tutor eventually left and John Black came to us - and since then we haven't looked back. We moved to Fernie Fields Scout Hall some years ago, where we remain, still painting together each Thursday afternoon. I am a member of the FPAA and exhibit at the yearly show where I've had a few commendations, a “best acrylic” and “visitors choice”. I paint mainly in acrylics these days, with the occasional water colour, and find it all totally absorbing. I can't imagine life without painting now!







Woodland Path





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