About Meryl Watts



Meryl was an only child to Charles Issac Watts and Eveline Watts being born in Blackheath London SE3 in 5th April 1910.  They lived in Germains Place, Blackheath, London SE3.  She attended the Blackheath School of Art and studied under John Edgar Platt, Charles Paine, James Woodford RA, William Clause and Reginald Brill.

She began to work independently in 1937 producing her own works while still living in Blackheath.  The onset of the war was a difficult time for the Watts family as they were very near to the London Docs and Greenwich which were targeted by the German bombers. During 1940 their house and her father's printing works were damaged during an air raid and declared unsafe to live in.  They were left with only a few hours to remove their possessions before the house was pulled down as it was left unsafe.  The family would often spend holidays in North Wales and stayed in Portmeieirion or Porthmadog.  They left there home in Blackheath and moved to a cottage in Portmeieirion where they became friends to the Williams-Ellis family who built Portmeieirion in 1925.  They then moved to a rented house in Borth-y-Gest, Caernarvonshire, North Wales.  In 1944 Meryl's father Charles Watts bought the house and Meryl began work using the endless views in the area for here inspiration.

In 1957 Meryl's father Charles Watts died and in 1969 her mother Eveline Watts died.  Meryl had never married and lived on her own in the house in Borth-y-Gest until 1978 when she married Professor Joseph Stanley Allen from Ovingham in Northumberland.  They then lived between Northumberland and Wales.

Most of her known artwork is from the period when she lived in Wales between 1943 and 1969. 

Meryl turned her skills to many medium but was best know for her skills as a woodcut artist.  This explains why most of her work is not unique as she would print up to 50 of each painting.  These would be hand done by herself, framed and distributed.  The earliest evidence of her woodcut work dates from 1934 many of these were works of her own art dating from earlier.  She also used Oil and Water Colours and was a Sculptor.

Meryl Exhibited with the British Council all over the world :-
  • Reikjavick,
  • Prague,
  • Aukasa,
  • Bagdad,
  • Palestine,
  • China,
  • Montevideo,
  • NewzelandNational Gallery,  (Woodcut Pellican kept by the Gallery)
  • Canadian National Gallery,
  • Stoke on Trent.British
Council Links:-

Beauty And The Beast; Contemporary British Prints And Drawings From The Wakefield Collection; Modern Paintings And Drawings By British Artists; Exposicion De Arte Britanico Contemporaneo; New York World's Fair; Contemporary British Art And Engravings

Meryl Exhibited at the Royal Academy on 3 occasions 1938 (Chestnut Roaster Colour Woodcut),

Meryl was a member of:-
  • Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society
  • Graver-Printers in Colour Society
  • Graphic Arts Society
  • Womans Artists Society
  • Chair of the Portmadog Arts and Crafts Society

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