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EDWARD RIDLEY (1883-1946)
Watercolour; signed and dated 1927 and titled on artist's label on the back
20 ¼ x 12 ¼ inches

In 1924, Edward Ridley started the Birmingham School of Dress Design, where drawing was the foundation of his teaching. Speaking to the Evening Despatch, he insisted that "Anyone who wishes can learn to draw," but that "painting is different, however. A sense of colour cannot be taught." (3 Feb 1933, p 8)

This watercolour - likely one of the "clever portraits" he exhibited at the Ruskin Galleries in 1928 - is good evidence of that sense of colour, with its jewel-tone teal and rippling blacks balanced by the flash of a red rose (Birmingham Daily Post, 20 March 1928, p 4). A tassel hangs from the sleeve of Isobel's fashionable kimono.