Tony Shorthouse turned to painting in 1994 after a 30-year career as a police officer in London and then the South West. He lives and works from his home in Tresowes, between Helston and Penzance. He has exhibited in Cornwall and Brittany.
For the past ten years he has taught a group of local artists, Tresowes Oil Painters, who meet regularly at his studio.
Work by this artist is included in the art collection of University College Falmouth (UCF).
Born in Munich into a family of professional artists (his father was Oswald Adalbert Sickert, a Danish landscape artist), Walter later moved to London in 1868. After first intending to be an actor, he studied at the Slade (1881) for some months, but after meeting JM WHISTLER there, he left to become his pupil and studio assistant, helping with his printmaking.
In the capacity of studio assistant Sickert came with his great friends James WHISTLER and Mortimer MENPES to St Ives in January of 1884. He married first Ellen Cobden in the summer of 1885, but they were divorced in 1899, by which time his association and friendship with Whistler had come to an end.
He married artist Therese Lessore in 1926, and they worked creatively together. His titles from the St Ives visit include Clodgy Point, Cornwall, an oil on panel which is part of the Hunterian Art Gallery Collections in Glasgow. Wilkinson notes that both Oswald and Walter's brother Bernard (also an artist) spent time in St Ives, although any fruits of their labours there are not specifically known. Walter exhibited prolifically in the Paris Salon from 1899, but not with any Cornish reference. A safe comment is that time spent in West Cornwall was only a footnote in his famous artistic and literary career.
Born in London, the artist was the son of an artist and designer, and his mother an opera singer. He trained in art with his father and under the tutelage of Walter SICKERT, finding a main interest in marine art.
He toured English coastal towns before sailing to Australia in 1907, the tour probably being the occasion for his first visit to West Cornwall. Returning to settle permanently in Britain in 1925, the interim had been taken up with painting in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. In 1914 he joined the Australian Imperial Force as a signaller, trained in Egypt, and saw service at Gallipoli.
Shell-shock meant that he was returned to Egypt and then to convalesce in England. He kept a diary and sketchbook all through the experience which was published in 1916 as Crusading at Anzac AD 1915 and portrayed war as the soldier sees it, 'shorn of all its pomp and circumstance.' Throughout he worked to record the Australian participation at Gallipoli in paintings and three of these were bought for the Australian War Memorial Collection. In 1921 he returned to Australia, living in Sydney, working as a commercial artist.
In 1922 he painted in the Trobriand Islands, New Guinea, and then returned permanently to Britain. Silas married Ethel Florence Detheridge in 1927. His most widely known local work is a depiction of the Royal Navy Algerine-class minesweeper, HMS Wave Ashore at St Ives 1952, that broke her moorings at St Ives in a storm during the early hours of 30 September 1952, and kept at the National Maritime Museum, London.
Charles Eyres Simmons was born at Rainham, Kent early in 1872. By 1881 his family had moved to Kingston in Surrey where his father was a coachman. He became a watercolour artist of landscapes, harbour and coastal scenes. He studied under Hubert COOP. Through his career he seems to have moved to many places and has not been found on the 1891 or 1901 census returns. By 1901 he was living at Cardisland, Herefordshire and he married Aimee Emily Swayne in the Weobly RD towards the end of 1901. She had been born in France.
By 1911 he, his wife and sister in law were living at Ruan Minor Churchtown on the Lizard. He later moved to Devon, then the Channel Isles before finally living at Hastings. He died at Hastings early in 1955 aged 83. He exhibited at the Dudley Gallery, Piccadilly and in Liverpool in the period 1902 - 14.
He signed his work Eyres Simmons in a distinctive but difficult to read form. His work is often to be found in the auction houses but is sometimes miscatalogued.
An American from the Boston area (Concord, Massachusetts) who arrived in St Ives in 1887 via Concarneau, and began to exhibit locally and nationally. In 1890 he showed two works at the Dowdeswell Exhibition, and that same year he bravely challenged the Royal Academy on their hanging and selling policies in relation to the paintings they accepted for exhibition.
An account of the conflict is included in Whybrow (St Ives, Portrait of a Colony pp 37-8), and this marked a kind of watershed in the RA hegemony, after which artists began to look around for additional exhibiting spaces for their work. He was married to Vesta S SIMMONS, and their home address was at Trelyon, Halsetown, but the address given for submissions to shows was 23 The Terrace, St Ives, Cornwall - perhaps their working studio. His latest address (Graves 1893) was given as Paris. He died in Baltimore, Maryland.
An overseas British subject, born in Illinois, USA, Vesta Simmons was an artist age 28, with two small children, William (6) and George (4), when living at Halsetown. Her husband was the artist Edward Emerson SIMMONS.
She did exhibit, though not extensively, submitting one figurative subject before 1893 at the GG, and two elsewhere.
Born on 8 May 1885 in Camberley, Surrey, his father was Charles Rudyerd Simpson a Major General, and his mother, Leonora (nee Devas). Initially the artist was educated by a private tutor, and later (1904) attended the Herkomer School at Bushey. In 1910 he was in Paris studying at the Academie Julian.
His first home in West Cornwall was Penzer House, Newlyn, where he resided in 1908. In the period between then and his death in 1971 Walter, as he was known, was to move house and home eleven times, back and forth between the London area and West Cornwall. He married Ruth ALISON and together they led a busy life of teaching, painting and writing, for some years running the St Ives School of Painting.
Simpson's published and unpublished writings, family papers, letters and diaries are in the WCAA Collection, as bequeathed by their late daughter, Leonora Simpson. A full biography of the artist by John BRANFIELD was published in September 2005 by Sansom & Co, to coincide with a major retrospective exhibition at Penlee House.
Walter's own books include: Trencher and Kennel; Emily Bronte; El Rodeo; Composition for Photographers; Animal and Bird Painting; and The Fields of Home for which he provided both the text and the illustrations.
His illustrated works include: The Fellowship of the Horse by S H Goldschmidt; Practical Jumping by J L M Barrett; Old Montreal with pen and pencil; Horseplay for Boys & Girls by John Thorburn; Manners and Mannerisms, A book for fox hunters by Crascredo (Country Life); Son of a Gun by Major Kenneth Dawson; The Gone Away by Dorothy Una Ratcliffe; Wit and Wisdom of the Shires by Major Guy Paget; Unknown Cornwall (numerous colour plates, monochrome and textual vignettes) by C E VULLIAMY; A Pastorale, with foreword & poem by Lady Jane Butler (12 woodcuts); Leicestershire and its Hunts (London: John Lane, Bodley Head 1926); The Harborough Hunt Country (London: John Lane, Bodley Head 1926).
In 2005, the WCAA published a previously unknown manuscript written and illustrated by Charles Simpson, entitled The Country of the Woodlanders, A Wartime Memoir of Hardy's Wessex. This book is available at Penlee House, Penzance, and by order from our On-line Bookroom.