Joyce’s passion for people reflected in her painting

JOYCE CARLSON ... the artist and author died at the age of 86 last month.
JOYCE CARLSON ... the artist and author died at the age of 86 last month.

THEY say a picture paints a thousand words – but talented Joyce Carlson had plenty of both to illustrate her love of local life.

The artist and author died at the age of 86 last month after a short illness – but she leaves behind a creative legacy that will live on for years to come.

Mrs Carlson, who lived in Harton, South Shields, first picked up a brush at the age of 10 and displayed her work at exhibitions all over the North East, including at the Customs House, South Shields, and at art galleries in Newcastle.

Her passion for painting and people led her to create a range of eye-catching portraits, adding a splash of colour to normality, with pictures of a young woman sitting in a coffee shop and a yellow-jacketed man with camera in hand among her works, as well as works drawn on wider themes, including a picture of Mary Magdalene.

Her artistic efforts proved popular not only in South Shields but also pleased the eye of art lovers all over the world, from Taiwan to Iran.

Away from the drawing board, the creative spark was one which ran through the family, with mother and son John Carlson co-writing a book called South Shields (Images of England), which was a collection of more than 200 archive images illustrating the history of the town over 100 years.

She had a passion for art her entire life. She was dedicated to painting and to people.

John Carlson

The duo also penned a book detailing the rich history of Newcastle.

She was also a staunch Labour supporter and met with John Prescott just days after his infamous fracas with a man who hurled an egg at him in 2001.

Son John said Joyce’s passion for people came through in her painting.

He said: “She had been painting since the age of about 10. She had a passion for art her entire life.

“She was dedicated to painting and to people.

“She was always interested in people. She had friends from all over the world.

“That interest came across in her paintings.

“We also wrote a number of books on the history of South Shields and Newcastle together.

“It was always an enjoyable experience, working with my mother.”

Husband Charles Carlson, who was married to Joyce for 52 years, added: “She was a normal, kind woman.

“She always had a passion for painting and writing throughout her life.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazchris