Get under the skin of a Victorian genre painting ART FOR WRITERS

There’s always something to crank the mind over from Bridget Whelan. So, if yours is like mine, in need of an oil change now and again, have a go at the challenge.



There is almost a ready-made story here. Nameless and Friendless is the most famous work of Emily Mary Osborn. She specialised in painting women in distress which has made critics describe her as a  “proto-feminist artist”.

This woman on hard times is a widow attempting to make a living as an artist. While offering a picture to a disdainful dealer, she is being ogled by two “swells” something which is probably a daily occurance.

From the little I know of Osborn’s life and from Germaine Greer’s book on women artists The Obstacle Race I imagine she knew a lot about the struggle to be recognised as an artist (and not ‘just’ as a woman artist).

What did this nameless woman do in the morning before she came to the dealers and where is she going afterwards? What’s the weather like? Is her cloak warm enough? And what is her name?…

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About Daniel Kemp

Daniel Kemp, ex-London police officer, mini-cab business owner, pub tenant and licensed London taxi driver never planned to be a writer, but after his first novel —The Desolate Garden — was under a paid option to become a $30 million film for five years until distribution became an insurmountable problem for the production company what else could he do? Nowadays he is a prolific storyteller, and although it’s true to say that he mainly concentrates on what he knows most about; murders laced by the intrigue involving spies, his diverse experience of life shows in the short stories he compiles both for adults and children. He is the recipient of rave reviews from a prestigious Manhattan publication, been described as —the new Graham Green — by a managerial employee of Waterstones Books, for whom he did a countrywide tour of signing events, and he has appeared on ‘live' television.
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