It's the little touches that make it special: the saucy look in the server's eye; the look of the sausage sandwich eater that says to the begging dog 'Fat chance, Mutt'; the contented newspaper reader enjoying a tea before work. Beryl was a painter of the ordinary and the mundane. She was fascinated by real people and real places and more of a social commentator than a fine artist, which is maybe why the fine art world never really took her seriously. However, her work was loved by us common folk. The Queen reportedly liked it too (Beryl painted several portraits of the Queen and family) and awarded her an OBE.
I shan't spend any more time retelling her life story (which is as brash and hilarious as her pictures) as plenty of other websites and newspaper obituaries will be doing that over the next few days. I will just say ... thanks, Beryl. You made me laugh. A lot.
My condolencies to her family.
Artist Photograph: Chris Capstick/ Rex Features