Landscape in August
circa 1990s, oil on canvas board 16" X 12"
This painting was created in the same year as ‘Cornfield in Nottinghamshire’ when Jean Royle was experimenting with the impasto technique. It is high summer with no threat of storm; the landscape rolls away from the viewer and we can almost feel the dry dustiness of the earth and the heat of the air. Two wedges of yellow corn are crossed diagonally by a warm brown, curving and undulating earth track leading from right to left and into the distance. Above the rising area of corn on the right are trees in dense summer foliage, their lighter areas painted in olive, with darker, cooler tones for the shadows. The greens of the background become bluer, and the distant corn lower in key, to express recession. A limpid sky, of a mixture of cerulean and white, is offset by beautiful pink clouds to complete a tranquil rural scene. Two of her preliminary pencil sketches for this landscape are shown below and reveal how she has used an eraser to suggest lines of stubble. Many of Jean Royle’s compositions included the winding track leading the eye either into and through a mysterious wood, or to distant fields.