Foreword by Dame Elisabeth Murdoch
David Thomas' Monograph, tracing Criss Canning's career as an artist, is a masterpiece. He has led us through her long journey in The Pursuit of Beauty with great skill, giving us a wonderful picture of a very special human being who has had to face many difficult challenges in her life. She has met them all with admirable courage, because having to balance being a single loving mother and an artist was particularly difficult. The author's analysis of the artist's great gifts and her struggle to develop them is handled with sensitivity and understanding.
Criss Canning is a very determined and courageous character with infinite faith in her personal pursuit of beauty through the creation of art. A spiritual aspect seems to underlie much of her work.
David Thomas follows Criss all the way as she has moved from strength to strength. He has very much the feeling which I have for her work. Her pictures are so strong, and at the same time simple and serene. Her design is so wonderfully balanced and her sense of colour absolutely brilliant. When I first spoke to her, and then came to know her better, I was enchanted by her beautiful paintings and knew she was on the way to becoming famous. It has been a great pleasure for me to learn so much about Criss; she has had a fascinating and challenging life and has achieved so much.
We must all be grateful to David Thomas for giving us such a vivid picture of an important artist whose dedication to her muse has brought her close to beauty. In her own words, 'You cannot underestimate the need for beauty in our lives'.
The story of Criss Canning's quest in The Pursuit of Beauty is inspiring - as is the beauty of her happiness with her soul-mate, David Glenn.