Scotland

Artist who drew his wife on her deathbed dies

Norman Gilbert
Image caption Norman Gilbert was married to Pat for 65 years

Scottish artist Norman Gilbert has died at the age of 93.

Mr Gilbert, whose career stretched over 70 years, recently had an upsurge in interest in his work after an exhibition showed sketches he had made of his wife on her deathbed.

He had always included his family in his work and his wife Pat had featured in his paintings since they met at Glasgow School of Art in the 1940s.

Pat died in August 2016, the day after their 65th wedding anniversary.

She had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for a number of years and Norman cared for her until she had a severe stroke and was taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

"After I had been there for two or three days I thought it would give me something to do if I took my sketch book and drew her," he said at the time of the exhibition last year.

Image caption Norman did about 30 drawings as he sat at his wife's bedside

The resulting sketches are simple, honest and enormously moving, familiar to anyone who has been at the bedside of a loved one in their final days.

Mr Gilbert's death was confirmed by his son Mark, who is also an artist, based at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.

His father was born in 1926 and served in the Navy from 1944 to 1948.

An ex-serviceman grant allowed him to study at Glasgow School of Art, where he met Pat.

Image copyright Norman Gilbert
Image caption Pat featured in Norman's work for six decades - this painting is from 2014

It took 15 years before he had his first exhibition and the couple lived in a caravan for years while he tried to breakthrough as an artist.

In the late 1960s he finally got the London galleries to exhibit his work and experienced success for a number of years.

Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes was an admirer of his work and bought one of his paintings in the 1960s.

Mr Gilbert had 14 solo exhibitions throughout his career.

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