[Bay, Headland]

Sea/landscape. Lower left margin yellow ochre and green brush work. Right margin green and yellow marks mingle with blue indicating water. The horizon is high at three quarters of the canvas. The shoreline and headland extend from left margin almost to right margin and a dark shape which indicates a rocky outcrop below. Upper left margin two white rectangles indicate the Pedn-Olva Hotel.

1968 1970
Object type
Medium and materials
oil on canvas on board
Place Made
St Ives, Cornwall, England

LL ochre brush point Scales (partly concealed by frame, not fully legible)

Verso framer's label Spooners of Auckland

General notes

Purchased by original owner from the artist in her Brentwood Avenue flat, Mt Eden, Auckland, New Zealand, 1976, just prior to the artist returning to Europe. Dated in reference to Bay Landscape, St Ives, Cornwall [BC057].

In answer to questionnaire sent by B. de Lange 1983, original owner wrote, “I was attracted to this painting initially by the artist's very sensitive treatment and the lovely colour especially the white building and the blue of the sea … Note particularly the brushwork, delicately placed to achieve the desired effect.”

The location of this work was identified by British artist, Patrick Heron, while as an artist-in-residence at the International Art Workshop, Teschemakers Resort, Kakanui, Oamaru, 9 February - 1 March, 1991.

This is one of a series of paintings based on the location of the Pedn-Olva Hotel on Porthminster Beach. Pedn-Olva means 'lookout on the headland'. The hotel is a registered navigational mark for ships which perhaps added to its attraction as a subject for Scales, with her lifelong interest in boats, ships, piers and the sea.

This painting shows the eastern side of the Pedn-Olva Hotel, St Ives, England with the headland behind.

Diana Mills, Flora Scales’s great niece, in a letter to B. de Lange, 12.11.1983: “I visited her there in a sparsely furnished house on the side of a hill. It was jolly cold and the wind was prevented from making life completely miserable only by thick red velvet curtains. Heavy as they were they still blew at an angle into the room...I was appalled by the lack of comfort with which she lived her life.”

The 1950s saw the burgeoning of the St Ives School of artists in England which included Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton, Peter Lanyon, Bryan Wynter and Bernard Leach. 

After the death of her mother Flora Scales moved to Cornwall, England. Flora Scales in conversation with Janet Paul, Rotorua, New Zealand, 27 March 1979: “I went to a horrible room in Mousehole, all yellow rocks. Not a good place for painting. Back to St Ives. I lived in a little hotel on the sea front at Penzance. Had a sale and then went back to St Ives. I used to pass Barbara Hepworth's studio and could hear her hammering. She was always hammering. I didn't like to disturb her and never went in." 

In her series of studies of this subject Scales may well have moved between a greater and lesser degree of abstraction making it difficult to determine in which order they were painted.

Lower margin left yellow ochre and green brush work resembles the agave shapes seen in Scales’s paintings made in St Tropez, France such as Untitled [Basilica and Lighthouse, St Tropez] [BC020] and Basilica and Lighthouse, St Tropez, Southern France [BC021].

Images taken from photographic transparency slides.

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