Joan Eardley

1921 - 1963

Painter. Born in Warnham (Sussex), Eardley moved with her family to London before her father, who had been gassed during the First World War, committed suicide when she was only eight years old. She began her art training in London, before relocating with her mother and sister to Glasgow in 1940. There she attended the Glasgow School of Art, where she won the Sir James Guthrie prize for portraiture in 1943. She spent time at Hospitalfield House in Arbroath before returning to Glasgow School of Art in 1948, thereafter she travelled for a time in Europe.

Eardley began painting street children in Glasgow from her studio in Townhead but is best known for her storm scenes painted at the secluded Watch Cottage (The Watchie) at Catterline in Aberdeenshire. She would travel to Catterline from Glasgow on her motorcycle whenever the local people reported a storm was approaching. Several of her works are held by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Tate Gallery.

She died of breast cancer and was cremated with her ashes scattered at her beloved Catterline.

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