Article taken from the West Briton 12th April 2012
Remembering one of the great women who have resided at Tregolls Manor
Famed artist whose work took her round the world dies at the age of 98
Nancy Bailey R.I.P.
A popular Cornish artist who travelled the world and once had to dispel claims of her passing away has died aged 98.
Nancy Bailey was famed for capturing light, using a palette knife to produce dimensional oils on canvas.
Born in Par, she moved frequently before returning from Ireland in 1963 to live in Penhallow near Perranporth. Her artistic career began in her fifties while working in a Perranporth art shop run by her cousin, who suggested that she ‘have a go’ at painting. She told the West Briton in 2004 her early works “…were dreadful, but I persevered. The awful thing was that they sold.”
Close friend Courtney Johns recalled helping Nancy launch her career. Describing her as “a wonderful person”, “She was doing great painting but not doing anything with it. So we took her to Cumbria and had an exhibition. I took up scaffolding and all sorts to set it up. We sold eleven pictures the first night it was open.”
Success as an artist enabled her to travel the world and in 40 years she painted about 4,000 works. Her travels included a safari trip to South Africa led by the respected nature artist David Shepherd.
Many of her pieces fetched high prices in the USA, bought for people with a Cornish and Irish ancestry. Her knowledge of light and composition enabled her to create the striking paintings she was famed for.
In 2004 the West Briton reported how she had risen from the dead to present an exhibition in St. Agnes to celebrate her 90th birthday. She contradicted reports of her passing on an Irish gallery’s website by ensuring she was characteristically full of fun and energy at the celebration, entitled ‘A Life Of Art’. At the time she told the West Briton “I was stunned to learn I was dead. I have had a wonderful life and hope to continue painting for a while yet”.
She passed away at Tregolls Manor on 28th March 2012