If Laura Knight thought Staithes in Yorkshire was 'life in the raw', when she moved to Lamorna, she must have thought that was la dolce vita. She would not have been the first, nor would she be the last. Not that life was so cushy for Stanley Gardiner when he first went to live in the lush Cornish valley. He had to live in an old Army hut beside the Wink public house, making frames for other artists.
He had started out a house-decorator in Reading, but had first taken evening classes then won a scholarship to study fine art at the university with our own Allen Seaby. But by the time this portrait by WC Weatherby was painted in 1945, he and his makeshift easel were both firmly planted by the sea.
Nearer to Land's End, there is another cove at Sennen, but less the sub-tropical feel that has captivated so many at Lamorna. I don't know exactly when John Platt found himself there, but I've always found this bird's-eye view one of his most appealing landscapes. The details of the fisherman preparing to take their boats and out and raising the sails as they leave the small harbour are unobtrusively fitted into the complex rhythms set up by all those large shapes along the beach. The would-be engineer and architect are all there is this print to bring the whole thing together. It's the subtle dynamics of a work like this that makes Claude Flight look like he's trying too hard.
More occasional, I suppose, is Frank Morley Fletcher's similar view of the old derrick at Lamorna. Again, I have no idea when FMF was there, but this print wasn't published untill 1916. He was a habitue of art colonies - Etaples, Walberswick - and this view from the garden of Flagstaff Cottage shows him firmly in Lamorna Birch country because it became his house. He had taken it over from The Times art crtic, Charles Marriott, and I wonder whether it ws Marriot rather than Birch that Morley Fletcher had gone to visit.
Even more tantalising (and for more than one reason) is this view of Sennen by Daisy Boxsius that appears to show the viewpoint that John Platt made use of. Tantalising also because, by the look of this watercolour, she was a better painter than her husband, Sylvan. It's the only work by her I have ever been able to find and it's hard to judge from a reproduction, anyway. She had a better approach to the haphazardness of the boats than John Platt. In his hands, they become technical drawing; what Daisy Boxsius gives us are the rhythms of reality. Her husband was in the photo-lithography business at Bolt Court and presumably arranged to have her work reproduced in this way. She outlived him, and carried on exhibiting after the second war. The only record we have of their trips to the West Country in the 1930s are their pictures: Corfe, Shaldon in Devon, Looe, Marazion, Sennen, but not Lamorna so far.
Neither Lamorna nor Sennen, John Platt's Pilchard Boats must show Newlyn harbour, with the deep anchorage beyond the wall. (You can see a view from the other direction in Ethel Kirkpatrick's Boats at rest on the post about her watercolours). All of Platt's Cornwall prints date from 1921 and 1922 so he was presumably down there painting some time before then. (He was in Edinburgh by autumn, 1920).
Not obviously a Newlyn woodcut but probably one of the few we know that were actually made in Cornwall, this witty image by Cicely Jesse, showing that young artists studying down in Newlyn with Stanhope Forbes were nevertheless hip to the Vienna Secession. She made this while living at Myrtle Cottage above the harbour. It makes a change from the sea.