Born in Eastbourne, she began her art training at Stanhope Forbes’ School of Painting in Cornwall in the early 1920s, attending classes with Newlyn School painters such as Harold Harvey, and Ernest and Dod Procter. Apart from a spell in Paris, she spent the rest of her life painting portraits and landscapes in Cornwall.
This signed 2ft 5in x 2ft 1in (75 x 63cm) oil on canvas, pictured above, titled Violet was consigned from a local deceased estate to Cornish auction house David Lay (18% buyer’s premium).
Thought to be a self-portrait, it depicts the artist in a red beret with a basket of flowers hanging from her arm.
The auction house was confident it would better the previous record, also set by David Lay in 1990 for £1300. Estimated at £1000-2000, it was pursued by a local bidder and a London dealer until the latter secured it at £6000.
“Midge posed for other artists including Dod Procter and I really felt the influence of Dod in this picture. It was an absolute cracker so we’re thrilled for the result,” said Mimi Lay of David Lay. Another portrait of a farmer from the nearby fishing village of Mousehole, thought to have been painted around the same time, sold at the auction house in 2014 for £580.