Low tide at the Minnows near Padstow, north Cornwall
fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting

Nancy Bailey

English ( b.1913 - d.2012 )

Low tide at the Minnows near Padstow, north Cornwall

  • Oil on canvas
  • Signed lower right

Image size 29.5 inches x 19.5 inches ( 75cm x 49.5cm )
Frame size 37 inches x 27.2 inches ( 94cm x 69cm )


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Available for sale from Big Sky Fine Art; this original oil painting by Nancy Bailey. The painting is presented and supplied in its original frame. The canvas branded Grange Cotton is signed again on the reverse along with the title and the inventory serial number 8472. The painted surface has benefitted from a light clean and a new preserving varnish coat applied in 2014 on our instructions.

Nancy Bailey was born in 1913 and started her working life at the age of 15. As a teenager she used her father’s camera to take photographs of West Country views, many of which were used to produce postcards, which sold throughout the country. This early talent demonstrated her knowledge and appreciation of light and composition that later enabled her to create the beautiful paintings for which she became internationally renowned. Her family moved frequently throughout the south west, before settling in Ireland where for thirteen years she produced high quality marquetry pictures, which sold all over the world.

Nancy only started painting seriously when she returned to Cornwall in her fifties. Her painting career, though started somewhat late, continued over forty years. Nancy worked with a palette knife and never used a brush. This gives her work its distinctive texture and captures the landscape and light. Nancy became acclaimed as one of the leading palette knife artists in the UK.

Although Nancy travelled widely, including a safari trip to South Africa with the acclaimed nature artist David Shepherd her best work is arguably of the coasts and rivers of the West Country, which she loved so much.

Nancy died in 2012, since when demand for her original works has increased.

The Minnows Islands are a group of large rocks in the sea off the coast of Cornwall, north of Porthcothan, near Fox Cove. They are part of a particularly dramatic and beautiful coastline. This original oil on canvas shows a view of the Minnows from the shore, from an elevated vantage point. The craggy rocks, in delicate shades of stone and brown, stand solid and proud, whilst the sea beneath them looks clear and calm. The use of turquoise in the waters is particularly effective here, giving a translucent property to the sea. In the distance the sky is pale, with the horizon almost indistinguishable from the ocean.