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Alright in the night

PUBLISHED: 15:21 21 May 2009 | UPDATED: 13:35 24 August 2010

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by Roxanne Blakelock A shy artist, who paints through the night, is relishing her new-found fame after decades of hiding her talent in the shadows. Muriel Barlow, is almost 80, but will only admit to being born around the1930s. She has be

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by Roxanne Blakelock

A shy artist, who paints through the night, is relishing her new-found fame after decades of hiding her talent in the shadows.

Muriel Barlow, is almost 80, but will only admit to being born around the1930s.

She has been painting for most of her life - mostly in the dark - but was always too modest and shy to consider exhibiting any of her work.

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She became publicly successful with her oil paintings when one of her twin daughters, Krystina, secretly took them to show Karl Barrie who runs the now internationally known Gallery Kaleidoscope in Willesden Lane, Kilburn.

Ms Barlow, from Mansfield Road, Gospel Oak, said: "I am a terrible insomniac. It's quieter and more peaceful at night anyway. I use my two daylight lamps because ordinary electric lights are yellow. Picasso used to paint in the night.

"My daughter took my work to Karl on the quiet and he was delighted with them. He took me under his wing - he is a godsend.

"He will give an artist a chance which a lot of these gallery owners won't do. It has been a great and invigorating time for me.

"Success makes me feel 30 years younger. Karl is a real slave driver but I absolutely love my life now."

Mr Barrie first tried her out at the prestigious Affordable Art Fair in Battersea where all of her work sold out within two days. One dealer bought eight pieces.

Later he included her in a Christmas show at Kaleidoscope where again everything sold in the first few days.

Medici Art Society then soon snapped up copyright on some of her canvasses and produced greeting cards from them.

Mr Barrie said: "Muriel's work is hard to define. It possesses a quality that is magical. Sometimes her subject matter is simple and even sentimental but there is always that something extra to be found there. Some critics feel she will become as famous as Beryl Cook and Helen Bradley or even the American legend Grandma Moses."

Muriel hates artists like Tracey Emin and Damien Hurst because she feels they are conning the public.

She said: "It's modernistic rubbish. It's not real art. I don't know what they're doing with this conceptual art."

A one woman show is planned for later this year and dealers are now buying her work ranging from £950 to £3000.

roxanne.blakelock@archant.co.uk


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