Page last updated at 08:50 GMT, Tuesday, 26 September 2006 09:50 UK

In pictures: Beryl Cook exhibition

Beryl Cook at 80! is at the Portal Gallery

An exhibition in London is celebrating the iconic work of artist Beryl Cook to mark her 80th birthday. She started out after experimenting with her son's paints in her 40s.

Beryl Cook at 80! is at the Portal Gallery

The artist, who has been described as "Rubens with jokes" by comic Victoria Wood, named this painting Bouillabaise in Marseille. She says she loves the city.

Beryl Cook at 80! is at the Portal Gallery

Cook had many different jobs before becoming a painter, including a landlady and showgirl. This painting is titled How's Business.

Beryl Cook at 80! is at the Portal Gallery

This is called Smoker's Delight. Despite giving up smoking years ago, Cook says: "My delight as well! She is doing exactly what I'd like to do."

Beryl Cook at 80! is at the Portal Gallery

Cook called this work Big Shoes. She drew this after seeing two women in her local pub.

Beryl Cook at 80! is at the Portal Gallery

The artist admits to admiring the work of the English visionary artist Stanley Spencer, his influence is evident in her bold bulky figures like this one entitled True Pout.

Beryl Cook at 80! is at the Portal Gallery

Mr Muscle was inspired after Cook saw a man on Brighton Pier. She says: "I'm not sure what happens when you put the money in but he's got a very muscular arm."

Beryl Cook at 80! is at the Portal Gallery

Cook is a shy and private person, who often depicts the flamboyant and extrovert characters she would love to be.

Beryl Cook at 80! is at the Portal Gallery

In 1995 Cook was made an OBE. In Rhythm is the name of this work of a woman dancing.

Beryl Cook at 80! is at the Portal Gallery

This is a self-portrait of the artist herself. The exhibition - Beryl Cook at 80! - is at the Portal Gallery in Dover Street, London, until 21 October 2006.



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