The mood of a brewing storm is captured

Hitcham

circa 1940s, oil on board 16" X 12"

Jean Royle made this landscape sketch in the late 1940s whilst living at Hitcham in Suffolk. The style is very free and captures the mood of a summer storm brewing.  There is great atmosphere, with a suggested sense that rain is just arriving. The wind is lashing the trees, which show great movement.  Bright areas of white and light grey stand out from the low key of the majority of the painting, adding to the general effect of a drop in atmospheric temperature.  The glowing red roofs of the buildings in the background are perfectly positioned to bring vitality to an otherwise sombre scene. These buildings are Dutch barns traditionally roofed with rusting metal corrugated sheets, hence their colour. The setting is almost certainly Syres Farm at Hitcham.  Jean Royle lived there as a young mother of twins then aged 2 years. She would have had little time to devote to painting. This oil sketch would have been executed at speed, not only to capture the shifting turbulence of the lighting effects and the mood of the atmosphere, but also because of the demands of motherhood.

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.