Jean Royle captures the cold atmosphere

Copse in Snow

circa 1980s, oil on canvas board 16" X 12"

Jean Royle made this landscape painting of a beech copse in north Nottinghamshire in the 1980s.   As in her two other paintings of this area, the sky is darker and colder above, but lit with glowing warmth below, illuminating the reddish umber tones of the upper branches of the trees and with the dense mass of trunks preventing light from penetrating.  Several lighter, colder hues show on the foremost trunks, adding depth.  There is a truly wintry feel to the trodden pathway leading off to the right.   

The venue is Annesley Woods not far from Newstead  village in north Nottinghamshire. She knew the area well as had lived within walking distance during the 1960s. She portrays the copse as both intrigueing and mysterious; we are drawn towards it’s comforting shelter – but evening draws on and we must turn homeward. This painting captures the cold mistiness of deep winter and the onset of the evening. Most people would be at home by the fireside, but  in her childhood Jean Royle witnessed her father, the landscape painter Stanley Royle,  out in snowy conditions capturing the atmosphere of the weather on canvas.

Her preliminary sketches in gouache and pastel for this study are taken from her sketchbook and shown below.

Jean Royle was a landscape artist who always lived in the shadow of her father’s ability and achievements. He ensured she had an art training believing she had the potential to become, like him, a talented landscape artist. She fulfilled this but did not receive the recognition for her abilities in her life time.