Sheaves of Oats
circa 1950s, oil on board 16" X 12"
Jean Royle made this landscape painting as a close-up study of oat sheaves when she lived at Stoke Ash in Suffolk in the mid 1950s. This is an intimate study, impressionistic in style but without parallel within the Impressionist genre. She was particularly interested in landscapes that included harvest fields as a subject for painting, and this work forms the companion to Harvest Field, Stoke Ash. The subject is the same field at the same time of day – evening. The vigorous brushstrokes show admirably the textures of the sheaf and the silvery foliage of the willow hedge beyond. Terre verte is used with added variations to express the greens behind the bright sheaf, in which soft yellow mixtures with burnt sienna and hints of greens capture its glow. The earth echoes these warm colours. Invariably Jean painted in the evening because it was one of the few times when she was free from the duties of mother and housewife.