Obituary: Pat Fogarty

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The Independent Culture
PAT FOGARTY was an illustrator whose drawings and watercolours appeared regularly in newspapers, magazines, books, and in national advertising campaigns - in every size and context, from billboards to brochures to ginger-beer labels.

She was born in 1940, in Cape Province, South Africa, and brought up with her elder brother Denis and Leigh, her twin, in remotest Namibia where her father farmed; her grandfather Nelson Wellesley Fogarty was the first Anglican bishop of Damaraland. "Piffy" never lost her childhood nickname, her speech sprinkled with glottal Afrikaans, or her cinematic knowledge and delight in film-star glamour absorbed from the local hotel's Saturday film shows. After boarding school in Port Elizabeth, a three- day train ride away, she studied art at Port Elizabeth Technical College from 1959 to 1962. Squaring up to the prospect of living under apartheid, she chose freedom and left for Europe.

Next followed a peripatetic decade in France, England and the Greek island Skiathos; a hand-to-mouth living teaching and painting was gradually replaced by artwork commissions. In 1981 she settled in north London and consolidated her career as a self-employed illustrator (she also co-translated several books of cartoons by Claire Bretecher). Her clients included Penguin, The Daily Telegraph and Reader's Digest; she also produced more than a hundred illustrations in a two-year project for Tesco.

Her skill at creating a likeness led to commissions such as Penguin's cover portraits of John Mortimer for Clinging to the Wreckage and In Character. Evocative restaurant interiors and still-lifes enhanced restaurant and food columns.

Her work was versatile, honest, based on research and photographs (she was a talented photographer), with friends cast as nurses, pensioners or romantic heroes. The style was clear, precise and confident. She never missed a deadline. Her last set of monochrome illustrations, for The Costume Collector's Companion 1890-1990 by Rosemary Hawthorne (1998, for Aurum Press), showed her precision of line at its finest, qualifying her for the title of artist that she denied herself.

For six years Pat Fogarty was a volunteer at Lesbian & Gay Switchboard. Two years ago, as new technology and computer-generated technology whittled away the livelihood of professional illustrators, she decided on a change of occupation. Rejecting the idea of a career in gambling (she was a serious follower of flat-racing form) she threw her energies into training in existentialist therapy and counselling, with a student posting as an HIV Test Counsellor at the Royal Free Hospital. Her teachers regarded her as gifted. But her course was interrupted by illness.

Small in size, Fogarty had charismatic presence and a combative streak. She made decisions quickly and stuck to them. A natural entertainer and mimic, she was perceptive about others, with an exceptional gift for friendship. Her close relationship with Jayne Parker, the avant-garde film maker, was creative and fulfilling. During her illness she rediscovered her closeness to her brother Leigh, who was with them both when she died at home.

Anne Boston

Patricia Marion Fogarty, illustrator: born Cradock, South Africa 15 November 1940; died London 17 February 1999.