Amy studied under Fred Shelley at the Plymouth School of Art and later at St Martin’s in London. Here she met John Millar Watt, who attended the same evening classes. They both worked for advertising agencies as staff artists.
They married in 1923 and moved to Dedham in Essex where Millar, who had discovered early success with his cartoon strip POP, designed and built a modern house and studio overlooking Dedham Vale. Alfred and Violet Munnings were frequent visitors to the Watt’s house as Amy was an extremely able cook.
Amy devoted her energies to a considerable output of landscape and flower paintings, using a sense of colour, design and often scale that was self-assuredly modern, yet worked out on traditional lines. The Watt’s two children, Mary and George, became subjects of great charm in both Amy and Millar’s paintings.
She was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy - her work was hung in the Summer Exhibition almost continually from 1929-53 and she also had Honourable Mention at the Paris Salon.
MARY IN A PINK BONNETOil impasto on canvas. Detail
ANEMONESOil on canvas.
EARLY MORNING, ST. IVESOil on board. Detail
The Watt’s moved a number of times; Dedham, Windsor, Crediton (Devon), St Ives and finally to Walton Street in London.
SUMMER - THE LITTLE BIRD VASEOil on panel. Detail
In London, she would seek out the perfect blooms for the painting she had in mind around the corner at the Flower Department of Harrods or from her perennial visits to the Chelsea Flower Show.
TARRAGONNAOil on board. Detail
Although never his intention, Millar’s commercial success somewhat eclipsed Amy’s own work. However, as works of great technique and beauty, Amy’s widely collected paintings have largely remained in private hands, including one of the present royal households.
Amy died in December 1956.