Maureen and her husband Paul, moved to Benfleet in June 2020, when we were in the throes of Corona Virus restrictions, – so I did not get to meet her straight away. We have since made contact, – she was fascinated by the history of the area, – I was fascinated to learn that she was an artist. She has her roots in East London – as have many of us down here – and found her way to Benfleet via Basildon.
Settling down in Basildon, Maureen and Paul had two children – a boy and a girl. Tragically, they lost their ten year old daughter, some time after which, Maureen volunteered at Great Ormond Street Childrens’ Hospital, counselling parents facing the same situation. Her main career was spent working for Mencap, the mental health charity, until she retired.
Maureen has volunteered at Little Havens Childrens Hospice for the last twelve years, as an Art Therapist. For some of the pictures she uses poster paints on glass, but also uses acrylics and water colour. Maureen rarely uses oil paint because the smell affects her asthma. She told me that she is self-taught, but has attended art clubs, where she picks up little techniques. Painting is Maureen’s main hobby – and she and her husband also enjoy travel.
The mysterious beach tower at Dovercourt Bay, always reminds Maureen of the ‘War of the Worlds’ – indeed, I can see a Martian quality to it!
Her children’s art is sensitive and amusing, I find the Child under a Cherry Tree particularly poignant, and her Smug Fish are delightful.
I see quite a few parallels with the art of May Bettany, and I am sure that this “MB” will go from strength to strength.