Backview Brewery Cottages, Aspatria (1949) by Sheila Fell RA FRSA
A fascinating small work by a young Sheila the year prior to her leaving for St Martins School of Art, London. This is of the same palette and form as that shown on page 8 (plate 1) of A Passion for Paint by Cate Haste.
The painting, Christmas card and photograph as a toddler-Sheila have come from the estate of a friend of Sheila, Irene (Rene) Holliday, when she lived with her parents in Aspatria, (then) Cumberland. Irene was also Sheila's music teacher and they used to go to music events together. Rene was married to John Benn Holliday whose family owned a greengrocers shop in Queen Street Aspatria, the same street Sheila lived on with her parents.
As Rene's family now say, "My grandmother's family knew the Fell family and my grandmother knew Sheila quite well - hence the photo of Sheila as a young child, the Christmas card and the small early painting of BackView Brewery Cottages Aspatria, which was a gift. Sheila was younger than Irene Holliday but they both enjoyed going to concerts and other artistic local events in the area. My grandmother taught Sheila the piano in the back room of the shop, which I believe is the one pictured. My grandmother's brother in law, who went on to own the shop, is in the picture."