Obituary: Elizabeth Jane Lloyd

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The Independent Online
Elizabeth Jane Lloyd found her way into the hearts of the British picture-buying public. It was perhaps her natural generosity of spirit which made the images she painted so irresistible to her buyers. She will be remembered for still-life paintings, crammed with flowers and objects, rendered with a seductive facility and investing everyday things with the richness and presence of cherished household goods.

She was born in London in 1928 into an artistic and successful family. Her mother was a painter, but the family was particularly strong in the realm of architecture: her grandfather was W. Curtis Green RA, who designed the Dorchester Hotel, and her father, a distinguished architect in his own right, practised with Edwin Lutyens, her godfather. She went to school at Queen Anne's, Caversham, and attended Chelsea School of Art from 1946 to 1949 in those early post-war years characterised by a spirit of common purpose and enthusiasm. To get a space in the Monday life-class you had to set up your easel on Sunday. She studied under Robert Medley, Henry Moore and Ceri Richards. Fellow students were Elisabeth Frink, John Berger, Anthony Rossiter and Jeff Hoare - whom she married in 1952.

She went on to the Royal College of Art (from 1949 to 1952) studying under Carel Weight and Ruskin Spear and specialising in mural design. While still a student, she undertook three major mural commissions at the Chelsea Pensioners' Rest Hall, the Tote Investors' Board Room and (the largest) for the National Farmers' Union, depicting a history of agriculture.

In 1953 her first solo exhibition took place at the recently built Royal Festival Hall and she had work accepted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, where she was to show often in later years. She and Jeff Hoare started married life in a flat in Elm Park Gardens, Chelsea. Laurie Lee, the writer, lived underneath and from time to time gave vent to his displeasure at the boisterous behaviour of their growing family by thumping on the ceiling with a broom-handle. With two children, they moved to St Peter's Square, Hammersmith, in 1956.

From 1953 to 1955 she taught at the Crown Manor Boys' Club, Hoxton, and from 1962 to 1967 at the City Literary Institute. The years between were taken up by the cares of motherhood, a role she very much embraced, and a family which had now grown to four children.

In 1965 she started teaching on the foundation course at the Central St Martin's College of Art and Design. The foundation course was one of the limited areas in teaching which called for the traditional skills of painting and drawing such as she possessed. The diploma course at the same college had switched its orientation entirely towards abstract painting. Her teaching relationship with Central St Martin's continued for the rest of her life. She had been appointed head of the Portfolio Preparation Course just before her death.

Unlike many painters she was glad to expand her teaching activities. She relished human contact, working as visiting lecturer to such universities as Aberdeen, Stirling and Surrey, as well as Cambridge College of Art, the Yehudi Menuhin School (1960-88), the Interlocken International Center, in New Hampshire (1970-75), the English Gardening School at the Chelsea Physic Garden and the Krishnamurti Schools in India and Brockwood Park, England. From 1987, she acted as tour tutor, often with a fellow artist, Anthony Eyton, on painting tours in India.

India and its crafts occupied a special place in her painting, which favoured a strong, sometimes dazzling palette. Indian embroideries and artefacts embellished her house as well as her work. The house was particularly important to her. An 18th-century building on the Thames at Chiswick where she had been brought up as a child, she returned to it in 1981 and made it a vehicle for her creative innovation. It was filled with paintings and objects, displayed in such a manner which evoked profusion and simplicity, the genius loci which was ever present in her work. But she was equally happy to submit herself to the exacting discipline of scene painting for such films of the Eighties as Flash Gordon, Breaking Glass, The Mirror Crack'd and Chariots of Fire. In the Nineties, she published two books: Enchanted Circles (1991; on the art of making wreaths and garlands) and Still-life Watercolour Painting (1994).

Her creative energy was undaunted by a punishing schedule of solo exhibitions, 19 from 1977, most recently at the Kew Gardens Gallery and Sally Hunter Fine Art, nor the many mixed exhibitions to which she contributed both in the United Kingdom and abroad. Her painting retained the freshness of a young woman and her sudden and fatal heart attack seems tragically premature.

Sally Hunter

Elizabeth Jane Lloyd, artist: born London 14 July 1928; married 1952 Jeff Hoare (three daughters, one son); died London 2 October 1995.