North Lodge View – Snow and Blue Skies
circa 1960s, gouache and poster paint on paper 21" x 15"
Jean Royle produced a series of five landscape paintings as viewed from the window of her home at Newstead Abbey Park, Nottinghamshire during the mid 1960s. She was employed as gatekeeper by the estate and sold tickets to visitors to the Abbey and its grounds, the one-time home of Lord Byron, so whilst painting she was also watching out for visitors. This is the first of the series in which she depicts the lighting effect created by snow and sky. The powerful blue of the sky is reflected onto the snowy verge, giving a freshness, a clarity, and a true feeling of coldness, despite the warmer colouring of the snow. The whole series of these gouache landscapes is expressionistic and full of atmosphere.
It is a testament to her skill that she used a fair amount of old poster paints combined with gouache to acheive four of these paintings. There was never enough money to spend on artists materials. 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.