POPULAR Stroud artist Cyril Corio, who painted the countryside in and around the Five Valleys for over 50 years, has died aged 97.
Cyril’s wife Pat, who was a talented embroiderer in her own right, passed away just five days after her husband, aged 90.
As well as sharing a love of the arts, the couple did much to nurture a love of creativity in those around them.
It was Pat who bought Cyril a set of oil paints as a first wedding anniversary gift in 1953, which led to a life long love of painting in her husband.
At the time they were based in London, where Cyril was an engineering inspector and Pat was a legal secretary.
From that point on Cyril began to paint regularly.
The couple had two children, Suzsi and David, while still in London, and then the family moved to Rodborough in 1965.
Cyril began to paint the local landscapes and to exhibit his work at the Subscription Rooms and the Lansdown Gallery in Stroud, as well as at many other locations throughout the Cotswolds.
He also began teaching painting techniques at the Endowed School in Rodborough and was very popular with his pupils, who loved his enthusiasm and drive.
He continued to paint and teach up until he was in his early 90s.
Several of the people he taught at the Endowed school have continued to meet and take inspiration from his work.
In 2013 Cyril held a very successful solo exhibition of over 100 paintings at the Lansdown Gallery to celebrate his 90th birthday.
He continued to paint every day – including learning to use an iPad when he was no longer easily able to hold brushes – until recently when his health finally prevented him from doing so.
Pat was always very supportive of Cyril’s painting, which became a full time career after he retired.
She would help out at his exhibitions and was in charge of the takings and logging the sold works.
Although she was happy to keep out of the spotlight, she was a talented embroiderer and sold many of her designs to fashion companies in the USA. She also worked as a medical secretary at Stroud Hospital for over 25 years.
In addition to their love of the visual arts, Cyril and Pat were huge music fans too.
The pair were were real night birds and their house was always filled with music
Cyril loved big bands and in his youth he followed the pioneering jazz band leader, Ken ‘Snakehips’ Johnson, whenever his band played in London.
He also introduced Pat to classical music and they both shared a love for opera as well.
Pat had particular soft spot for Placido Domingo with Pavarotti coming in a close second. She also always took a keen interest in the music Suzsi and David were into.
“It would come as a surprise to many that she also embraced my love of reggae,” said David.
“It probably started with Bob Marley but I introduced her to many of the great singers and she would always have CDs playing of Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs and John Holt in the kitchen while she worked.
“Not something many mums in their 70s or 80s would be listening to in Stroud I’m sure.”
Cyril and Pat encouraged their children, Suzsi and David, and their grandson Lou to turn their interests and hobbies into careers, which they have all done.
Suzsi is an artist and textile designer and David a successful music photographer.
And Lou, who Cyril also taught to paint, is now a product designer.