Elvic Steele was an Essex-based artist, inspired by Cedric Morris and with an interest in botany and surrealism which infused her work. Her paintings contain vibrant colours and have a naive, fantastic feel to them, far removed from the mundane. Steele was a teacher but aged 26 took a year off in 1946 to attend Cedric Morris’ East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing at Benton’s End. She found much inspiration in the gardens at Benton’s End and Morris rated her work highly. Steele began to show her work regularly at Colchester Art Society exhibitions and subsequent solo exhibitions included one in the Scilly Isles in 1960 and two at the Royal Spa Centre, Leamington in the 1980s. Peter Nahum of The Leicester Galleries, London later promoted her work and held a solo retrospective entitled The Magic Garden in 2005.