If you haven't spent a significant amount of time in England you probably haven't heard of the artist Beryl Cook, who painted enormously popular images of ordinary (and usually working-class) people and who passed away this week at the age of 81. Her work is decidedly populist and perhaps more destined for the decorative poster industry than fine art galleries, but it's hard not to be charmed by her jolly women of the night or ladies unashamedly swigging beer with their lunch. She also captures a particular sensibility that reminds me of the run-down shops near where I lived in Coventry or even certain seedier suburbs of London. No matter what color palette you try to give it, ultimately the depression sets in. The Guardian has a selection of her paintings here.