Charcoal portrait in landscape format. Head and shoulders of a man, seated facing to the right. Preparatory cartoon upper left corner .

Object type
Medium and materials
charcoal on watercolour paper
Place Made
Rotorua, New Zealand

LL Flora Scales 1981

LR Theo

General notes

Drawn at the Rotorua Masonic Village, New Zealand, where Flora Scales was a resident from 26 October 1978 until just before her death in January 1985. Sitter is Theo de Lange.

Observations of the drawing process recorded by M. de Lange, 1981, “Visits lasted from 10am to 11.30am. This time included setting up the easel, donning smock and a long observation of the model – plus two rests for the model. Total drawing time for each session would be approximately half an hour. One sitting for the small cartoon and two for the big drawing.”

John Drawbridge in conversation with B. de Lange, 1983, describes the “process of realisation [in which] she never rubs out or disguises her marks, but progresses with them on the journey of discovery undertaken in each work.”

Letter Toss Woollaston to B. de Lange, 29 June 1983, “[There is] a man named Theo with all the searchings and hesitations there for us to see.”

Scales herself described her process as a “building up.” In conversation with M. de Lange, 1983, she said, “I am an architectural painter. If a sitter has a feature I wish to emphasise, I sometimes find it desirable to work around it and eventually this feature or characteristic emerges.”

A note in the artist’s hand from a Portrait Class at Heatherley School of Fine Art, London, England, led by a Mr Bevis, Wednesday 25th January, 1961 [see Related images 1, Untitled [Loose Leaf Pages] [BC112]], “Mr. Bevis Portrait Class at Heatherly's [sic] = mark clearly position of prominent bones on the face - Important sign good composition of portrait or figure on canvas - always make small sketch in pencil carefully before proceeding to paint on the canvas.”


Photos by Sam Hartnett

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