Sunset at Newstead Colliery
circa 1960s, oil on board 15" X 20"
Jean Royle made this landscape painting at Newstead Colliery in the early 1960s when living in Nottinghamshire. A cornfield forms the foreground, which is thrown into a subdued mass, that gently reflects both the heat of the sky above the horizon, and the coolness of the dark upper sky. The sunset is a blaze of orange and yellow, against which the colliery complex and slag heaps rise in partial silhouette, so that the colours are there, but in low key. Cool and warm coloured colliery lights spark against the darkness of the pit adding drama in a small but significant way. Below is a preliminary pencil sketch showing the overhead conveyor belts and cables leading to the pit head, with herbage in the foreground. Jean Royle drew inspiration from many genres of painting, not least the dramatic lighting effects of Claude Monet whose vivid sunset silhouetting buildings is 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.