Lucy Elizabeth Kemp-Welch was born on 20 June 1869. She was born in Bournemouth and was the eldest child. She first exhibited her work when she was just 14 years old; she had always shown exellence in art. After a few years of attending her local art school, she moved to Bushey in 1891 to study at Hubert von Herkomer's art school, along with her younger sister Edith. She was able to have her own studio as she was one of Herkomer's best students. While she was a student there, she had one of her paintings shown at the Royal Academy in 1895. In 1905, Kemp-Welch took over the school and ran it until 1926.
In December 1914, Kemp-Welch was recruited to paint the famous army recruitment poster; 'Forward! Forward to Victory Enlist Now'. During the First World War, she was given permission to visit the Royal Field Artillery camp at Bulford. The officer in command of the camp allowed her to set up an easel while eight batteries of horse artillery were contiually ridden towards her so that she could sketch the horses in movement. From these sketches she produced two large paintings; 'Forward the Horses' and 'The Leaders of a Heavy Gun Team'. The two paintings were on display at the Royal Academy in 1917. Her younger sister Edith Kemp-Welch also produced a painting for the British war effort.
In 1924, Kemp-Welch completed a large panel commemorating the work of women during the First World War for the Royal Exchange. 1926 onwards showed a change in her work; she started painting scenes of gypsy and circus life. She lived in Bushey, Hertfordshire for the majority of her life and a large collection of her paintings are in the Bushey Museum.
Throughout her career, Kemp-Welch has had 61 paintings displayed at the Royal Academy. Kemp-Welch died on 27 November 1958, aged 89.
Lucy Kemp-Welch was a British painter who specialised in painting working horses. Her most famous works are of military service horses, which were painted during World War One. She is also known for her illustrations in the 1915 edition of Black Beauty; written by Anna Sewell.