1906 Born October 9th at Shillong, Assam, India. Sun in Libra, Moon
in Gemini, Venus in Scorpio, Mars in the mid-heaven, Sagittarius
rising, ruling planet = Jupiter. Christened on Christmas Day.
1919 Enrolled at Cheltenham Ladies College. In attendance between
September 1919 and July 1925.
1926 Enrolled at Cheltenham School of Arts and Crafts. Wrote,
designed and performed in a one act play Bird of Hermes.
1927 October. Began studies at Slade School of Art, London.
1928 Member of the Quest Society.
1929 Awarded joint first prize in the Summer Composition, Slade
School of Art for Judith Showing the Head of Holofernes.
1930 Publication of first article, The Prose of Alchemy.
1931 Unsuccessfully competed for the Rome Scholarship in Mural
Painting (and also in 1932 and 1933).
1931 First visit to Paris and exposure to work of surrealist artists,
especially Salvador Dali.
1936 First solo exhibitions, in Cheltenham and London, largely
paintings of plants and flowers, using what she described as a
‘magic realism’ style, showing the influence of Dali.
Completion of mural decorations at Morton in Marsh District
Visited the International Surrealist Exhibition, New Burlington
1939 Joint exhibition with Roland Penrose at the Mayor Gallery,
Visited André Breton in Paris.
With Roberto Matta, Gordon Onslow-Ford, and other surrealists
at Chemillieu. First exposure to automatic methods of painting.
Contributed short prose pieces to London Bulletin.
1940 Refused to give unconditional support to E.L.T. Mesens who was
running the London Surrealist Group. Effectively banned from
1943 Married Toni del Renzio, a Russian born Italian poet, painter and
1946 Publication of first known commercial work - the cover painting
for Ideal Home magazine, June issue.
Solo shows at the Mayor Gallery, one each devoted to paintings
1948 Publication of The Mantic Stain, the first account in English of
1949 Rental of Vow Cave, studio in Lamorna Valley, Cornwall.
1950 Designed cover for Eidos magazine, 'a journal of painting
sculpture and design' which ran for three issues.
1952 Adoption of magical motto: Splendidior Vitro.
Admitted to the OTO.
1955 Admitted to the New Isis Lodge.
1955 Publication of The Crying of the Wind: Ireland.
1957 Publication of The Living Stones: Cornwall.
1959 Moved permanently to Stone Cross Cottage, Paul, near
1961 Publication of novel, Goose of Hermogenes.
1962 Started to sign works with monogram derived from magical
motto rather than name.
Probable date of completion of unpublished novel I Saw Water.
1964 Began to use enamel paint to produce ‘convulsive landscapes’.
Began using Merz collage, using found objects, under the
influence of Kurt Schwitters.
1965 Conferred as a Lady of Honour of Order of the Keltic Cross.
1965 Conferred as a deaconess of the Ancient Celtic Church.
1967 Visited Egypt. Wrote The Blue Anoubis (unpublished) following
1972 Retrospective exhibition at the City of Exeter Art Gallery.
1975 Publication of The Sword of Wisdom, a biography of MacGregor
Mathers, the founder of the occult order The Hermetic Order of
the Golden Dawn.
1976 Major retrospective held at the Newlyn Orion Gallery, Penzance.
Ninety works on show.
1977 Exhibition of paintings of Tarot cards, designed by the artist.
Ordained as a Priestess of Isis by the Fellowship of Isis.
1988 Died 11th April. Colquhoun was in failing health for several
months before she died, sold her cottage in Paul and moved
into the Menwinnion Country House Hotel in Lamorna, where
she died of heart failure. It is frequently written that she died
in a studio fire, but this is quite untrue.